And here is why I learned not to rely on my parents for information: I asked my mom why doctors only practiced (see, that's how young I was), and her answer left me feeling more dubious about the whole situation. Something about how it was medicine and you could only ever practice it. Sort of like that time my brother (who is six years younger than me) came out to eat with some of my college friends to a Chinese restaurant and he felt compelled to ask the server, "What's curry?" Of course, the real issue was that the server answered completely seriously, "Curry is curry." And that is why doctors only practice medicine.
Anyway, this whole thing about what is a practice and what's not crept into my thoughts recently. I mean, I suppose there was a time when a mechanic was just a mechanic. A mechanic could land at the top of his field and literally (or close enough) know everything there was to know about engines. That's probably not true anymore. You can't even find out what's wrong with a car these days without a computer to tell you. A plumber... well, plumbers probably still can know everything there is about plumbing, but in this age I wouldn't feel confident that things will stay that way.
But all of that's kind of beside the point, whatever the point it. No, wait, I do have a point! My point is that I want to be a practicing writer. Of course, my wife is telling me that this is not what this means, but, you know what, I looked this up in several different places, and none of them had a good definition of what it means to have a practice or why it's called a practice or anything. The only clear thing is that to have a practice, you have to be doing it. So I've decided I want to be a practicing writer.
I like the sound of it, and I am doing it, so I'm claiming it. The thing is, anyone can be an author. Okay, well, that's not true. It is true; anyone could be an author if that person decided to write something. But it only takes one book or short story or whatever to be an author. You can call yourself an author the rest of your life off of just the one thing even though you never write anything again. However, you have to be writing to call yourself a "practicing writer." If you're not doing it, you can't claim to be it. At best, you could say "I used to be a practicing writer," but that just doesn't carry the same implication, now, does it?
Of course, once you've become a doctor or a lawyer you can always say you are those things. I mean, you never hear anyone saying "I used to be a doctor." No, that person is still a doctor, just not practicing anymore. And I'm pretty sure lawyers never say "I used to be a lawyer" they've been disbarred or something. No, they're just not practicing anymore if they've gone on to other things.
So, yeah, I'm a "practicing writer." It's what I'm doing right now. Don't start on me about clients or patients or whatever; I'm calling it what I want to call it. We'll call it poetic license, and, since I'm a practicing writer, I get to do that.
Now... I just need to figure out how to implement this whole idea...
A winner has been established from the comments left on Monday's
The Merry Christmas To All (e)Book A Day Traveling Blogathon (of Doom!)
post, and that winner is... um, wait... those winners... Well, it's the guys from A Beer for the Shower. I guess they can cut it in half? Can you do that to a digital copy? Maybe they can just fight over it? Yeah, I'm for that. Let's dig a hole in the ground and toss in one beer. The one that makes it out gets a copy of The House on the Corner. How does that sound?