When does a person become a writer?

In January, I finally gave myself permission to change my Twitter bio from 'aspiring writer' to 'writer'. I did this on the day I received my first check for a piece of writing. The amount wasn't much, but it felt validating to take that check to the bank. Was that the day I became a writer?

After some contemplation, I've realized that I must have become a writer long before that. Maybe it was in 2012 on the day I published my very first blog post. Maybe it was a year later when I attended a writer's conference and made an unsuccessful attempt to pitch my first manuscript to an agent. If I think back even further, I remember when I was in fifth grade and discovered that I liked crafting and sharing stories. Maybe a person becomes a writer when writing brings joy.

Of course, I still have days when writing does not bring joy. Sometimes it feels like the hardest thing in the world, and trying to find the right words makes me want to tear my hair out, strand by strand. Sometimes I sit down at my computer and feel like everything I write is garbage. But every once in a while I manage to write a piece that I really like. 

As I continue on my writing journey, this website is one more small step along the way.