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The Untruth Behind the Excuse: "I'm Not a Writer"

I recently attended the NCTE annual convention in Houston.

I love going to places where I will be around a lot of people. It gives me a chance to people watch and provides some great ideas for my writing. There were over 7,000 people at the NCTE convention. That's a lot of people to watch!

I was not surprised to see many teachers proudly wearing clothing that declared their love of reading. This is a literacy conference, after all. One lady wore a long skirt that was made of fabric painted to look like books on a shelf. A few ladies wore book-themed leggings, while other attendees sported "Book Nerd" or "Reading is My Superpower" shirts.

Their joy of reading (and the joy of many, many others) was quite obvious.

Yet, rarely did I spot anyone wearing an item of clothing that declared their love of writing. (And I WAS looking!)


I've always been a bit of a rebel. I brought my new "I AM A WRITER" stickers along to hand out and on the day I was presenting, I wore my "Writer." t-shirt.

People looked at my shirt or sticker and some smiled and complimented me, but I also received some skeptical looks...and a few confessions, I think.

I was standing in the hallway waiting for the door to open for the next session (which ironically was about keeping a writer's notebook) when a man next to me looked at my shirt and sticker and said, "I like your sticker."

"Thanks!" I replied. "Would you like one?"

"Oh no," he quickly responded. "I'm not a writer." He looked away.

"Well...would you like t