Before, I had worked with other students who planned to write, but we weren't in the real world yet. Even now I have a hard time accepting that I am a writer, and not just hoping to grow up to become one. I'm naturally very bad at taking compliments and find it difficult to believe in myself as a professional. And then in the real world with a highly-paid internship over two summers at an office, my job was only tenuously related to my true goals, and so I felt that my successes there, while a boost to my confidence, couldn't necessarily be applied to my writerly goals.
After a few hours working on our project, I felt that this was right. I can do this, it's not so very different from what I did in school or in previous internships. Writing copy is all about finding the right words, which just happens to be one of my favorite past-times. And this newfound confidence was only aided by the fact that I was receiving positive feedback from my colleague, who took my comments and additions as if they were coming from an equal. I began to feel validated, accepted, and all those other things I struggled for when going through high school. I felt I was being handed my writer's card. "Go on, young one," I heard in my mind, "Go on and do what you were born to do. You are a writer now. Make us proud."
Of course then the next day I felt the stress of another project breaking into my schedule, and grumbled as I thought about the meetings to come. And I will continue to grumble when I have to wake up early or stay up late working on various things, unsure of how good the ultimate product will be. But in the back of my mind I'm still smiling. Because I'm in the club now. I've joined the ranks of writers. Lowly, underpaid writers. And I couldn't be more proud.