And it's not just because novels often sound stupid when you try to explain what they're about (but THAT TOO). I think, for me right now, it's because I don't feel legitimate.
So I asked myself: When will I be able to tell people I'm a writer and not feel like some uninitiated imposter who just wriggled forth from the Closet of Awkward?
Will I be legitimate if I win a contest?
If I get a short story published?
If I get an agent?
If I get a book published?
If I write and publish 22 books, have a fabulous career, and am able to buy a small island with the royalties?
After I thought about it, I realized: I am legitimate RIGHT NOW. And the only thing between me and realizing that is...me.
I write because I love it, because it's who I am, because I have some important things to say, and because I think it's what I'm meant to do.
And THAT is legitimate. THAT is valid. Even if I am, at this point, just hiding away with my laptop, chipping away at a dream.