I have no idea what it means to be a writer these days. But I am writing. This summer, I’ve filled up six notebooks with this new novel. Today, I started notebook #7 (picture below). A week away from a very rough first draft. Of course, that’s when the real work begins. Maybe that’s what being a writer is–knowing that the real work begins with revision. When I tell people I write longhand and that I’m finishing the first draft of a novel, they often say, “when can I read it?” I have to laugh at that–I’m so far away from having a readable draft. Light years. Right now it’s so rough and so completely rudimentary that I can barely think of it as a novel. Right now it is just a bunch of sentences. Maybe being a writer means that I know those sentences, as they are, are only the barest beginning. Or maybe being a writer means something different. One thing I’ve discovered this summer is that being a writer means I don’t have to worry about what being a writer means. All I have to do is write.