Tom Coyne '97, '99MFA | July 28, 2014 | Notre Dame Magazine
Students often ask me when it is acceptable to refer to oneself as a real-deal, capital-W Writer. There is a great deal of creative consternation on this point. When does a scribbler come of age and brand herself a writer, on Facebook or Match.com or a mortgage application? (“Never” is my best advice for the last.) When can one drop this loaded vocation into casual conversation, knowing that pronouncing “I’m a writer” is the equivalent of saying “You may now pepper me with questions, both condescending and fascinated.” It’s a threshold of fear and hope and possibility, and to cross it is to confront the identity crisis of any artist. Am I really that which I say I am? Have I passed through the gauntlet? I must have — I use words like gauntlet.