I've always played at writing. I've envisioned the Great American Novel, I outline, I research, I discuss, I plan and I write, I rewrite and then work, friends, husband, family remind me that I'm not a writer. My paycheck comes from other avenues, writing is a hobby, a past time not an endeavor to be taken as serious. And the work stalls, the plot seems contrived, the characters become paper doll mannequins with no distinct voice, the meaning of the story falters and since it's just a hobby, something to pass the time, I give up. The story fades, the dream disappears, for a time. But, somewhere there is this insistent voice that won't let me give up. And from a writing practice, NaNoWriMo appears. A challenge, a target, a plan, that pushes me forward and gives me the tools to put words on a page. Not just one day, but everyday, words on the page. From one day to the next, I sit , I write. Work continues, my family's needs are met, but no matter what my schedule requires, whether it's time in the morning, breaks between appointments or late at night, the words are put on the page. Every week I receive a peptalk from the NaNoWriMo team and I learn that I am in good company. Published authors speak of the the daily struggle, the insecurity of putting raw words to paper and carving a story, word by word, page by page. Everyday as I sit in my chair and put my words on the page I learn that I may never be a great writer, maybe not even a good one, but daily I learn that to be a writer you must write. So as long a I write, I am a writer.