I just found this exchange from a couple of years ago that happened when I was walking Sparty in town.
Random Woman on the Street (walking her dog with the perfect grooming): Hey, are you still a writer?
Me (trying to get my dog from humping her dog because her dog foolishly is not into my dog): Um … what?
Random Woman on the Street: I heard you had another job.
Woman: Not that writing is a job.
Woman: So do you?
Insert my Sparty dog still trying to assert dominance over her dog. Visualize my dog giving up because it’s just too much effort. He rolls on his side. Perfect dog yaps at him to get up and bites Sparty’s neck. Sparty does not move.
Me (all anxious): I’m still writing. I write books. I get paid.
Woman: Oh! Good for you!
She yanks her little, perfectly manicured dog away from my shedding dog who pretty much looks like he has the mange.
I tell her everything I’m doing that proves I’m still a writer.
Woman: That’s nice, dear. What’s wrong with your dog?
Sparty moans. Her dog asserts her dominance again. Sigh.
The thing is that yes, I’m still a writer. I’m actually still an artist. And yes, I am a lot of other things too, teacher, writing coach, podcaster, she who has too many cats, human being, and so on.
It’s so funny how other people want to define us, categorize us, and define themselves and how we so easily fall into those traps.
And yes, writing is a job. Damn it.
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