Becoming a Writer

I wrote this in the afternoon but didn’t have time to finish it up until now. This is my response to the many posts and comments about who is a writer. Though it doesn’t seem like in in the beginning, keep reading, I do address the issue.
I’m ready now. I’m ready to have my work picked apart. Thirteen years ago I wrote “My Name is Heidi Beth,” for a writers workshop. Tonight I’ll be attending week 2 of my first writing class since college. My piece will be on the table. Our teacher already warned us she’ll be honest.
Two years ago I may have declined, let someone else go first, kept my pages hidden until I was home. I may have opted out of the critique process completely. I was at a different stage in the process.
Most of my writing is practice, not product. For thirty years, I spent countless hours finding my written “voice,” playing with word combinations, reading to friends while reading their faces and revising almost nothing. That changed earlier this year.
In January I decided to write 30 pieces in 30 days. I Posted them to my first blog. My intention was to move out of practice into form. For the first time, I reread, revised, reread, asked for feedback before posting and continued to revise after I hit publish. The difference in quality between earlier writing and the first 30 in 30 is night and day.
A few weeks ago I found OS. I was delighted to find a community of writers at all different stages supporting each other through friendship, detailed praise (not just, “Great!”) and feedback if requested. I was so delighted, I hit a wall! To get past the block, I decided to do another 30 in 30. My purpose in this has been to keep moving so I don’t get intimidated by my inner voice that has been trying to tell me I’m not good enough. Good enough for what?? This is day 16.
Now I’m entering a new stage, willingness to accept critcism. While I’ve always intended to “do something” with this obsession,that is, to form thoughts and impressions into published works, I know myself. If I sought feedback too soon, I would have folded. Instead of fear and discouragement, today I experience excitement and eagerness at the prospect of continued constructive feedback, especially from a qualified teacher. I’ve seen the results and I want more!
In the piece we’re going to be critiquing tonight, I wrote, “When I was little I thought there’d be these lines I’d cross when I belonged, grew up, succeeded…and now I see life as a dance, round and round to this beautiful music. I have to be quiet to hear it, and to feel the swan like motion.”
Is there a clear line when someone becomes a writer?
While we’ve all been figuring out the answer to this question in posts, comments and PM’s (I got an intense one this afternoon) for 2 days, I sense that some people have been hurt unnecessarily. Everyone has valid points to share. Going back to Ken’s post that seemed to ignite this fire, I found my first comment. In it I quoted him and then responded. Maybe it will help to share it again.
“This, then, is where I leave it: when

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