I am a writer.

It’s difficult for me to say so. I want to add caveats to ensure I don’t come across as something I am not. I want to say I am an “aspiring writer” or “I hope to be a writer one day,” and while those statements may be true, the fact of the matter is this: I am a writer.

Throughout middle school, high school, and a year in college I played the flute. From the second I assembled the instrument and played my first note, I was a flute player. I wasn’t a great flute player (or even a good one) at first, but I didn’t consider myself an “aspiring flute player.” I learned how to form a correct embouchure. I learned the notes and their corresponding finger arrangements. As I learned, I improved. At no point during my learning did I transition from an aspiring musician to an actual one. I was a flute player from the moment I started, and I simply just got better with time.

I am not a full-time writer. Most of my writing involves emails, applications, and Reddit comments. I haven’t gotten paid in exchange for a piece of writing, yet my writing is what I’m most proud of.

I pride myself on sending emails that are simultaneously informative and concise. I take responsibility for any misunderstanding that comes from written communication because it means I didn’t use my words appropriately. I used to write rap lyrics with the same passion I now use to draft memorandums. This isn’t directly a symptom of my old age or getting stepped on by “the man.” I am just using other avenues express my writing.

This may sound like an unnecessary statement, but it’s one I need to make publicly. Not because I need to announce to the world that I’m changing my career, but simply to remind myself of what I enjoy. I like writing stories and using language to teach complex subjects. I like imagining other worlds and giving instructions to coworkers without sounding aggressive or submissive. I like playing with words.

Today is Halloween, and tomorrow I plan to jump headfirst into the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For those unfamiliar, the task of this event is to write approximately 2,000 words a day from November 1st until the 30th, by which you (should) have a full 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. I’ve attempted this twice, and failed both times. As I work to redeem my past failures, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge to myself and to anyone reading that I am, in fact, a writer.

Writing is what I do, and it’s quite possibly what I do best. As of this moment I am not a published writer. I do not write full-time. Even saying I am an accomplished writer would be a stretch. But, nevertheless, I am a writer.