"Why do you put 'writer' on your Facebook profile?" I was asked.
"It's what I do," I replied.
"No you don't."
"I've got two books published," I countered.
"Yes, but you've got a day job."
And so the conversation continued for a while longer. You can probably work out where it ended up.
It's true that writing isn't my day job.
If I'm going to be completely honest, though the idea sounds attractive, I'm not sure that I'm ready for the pressures and demands of having to produce enough saleable material week in week out to generate enough income to write full time.
I enjoy the freedom of being able to write when I want to (which is every chance I get), but knowing that if I decide to put the pen down then it doesn't really matter.
I'd love to be able to write full time - but only when it suits me to. I know this sounds like wanting my cake and eating it but one of the reasons why I write is because I enjoy it. There's a danger that writing because I "have to" as opposed to because I "want to" could stifle the thrill of creating new scenes and characters.
So why do I have 'writer' on my Facebook profile?
It's because, after my family, writing is what I enjoy best. It's what I'm always ready to talk to people about. It's something I get passionate and excited about. It's something I do because I feel the need - the voices in my head have to be released.
The day job gets me out of bed so that I can earn the money to pay the bills and feed the family.
Writing gets me out of bed because every new page is as much an adventure for me as it is for my characters.