NaNoWriMo starts in two days. For a lot of writers, November is an exciting time to take a chance, accomplish a goal, or maybe even cheat a little bit. But for me, it’s my annual reminder that I’m not a real writer.

Although I spend my Mondays-Fridays writing emails, marketing copy, video scripts, customer stories, and anything else a mid-sized software company might want immortalized in text, when I tell people I’m a writer, the very first thing they always ask is, “So you, like, write novels or something?”

And when I reply, “Nope, I’m really not interested in that,” they earnestly respond, “What about poetry? Short stories?”

Edgar Allan Poe

What’s troubling you, sad eyes?

No, and also no.

Incredulous looks and the occasional sigh come my way.

Obviously, I am a real writer. I get paid to write things. I write in my free time. I’m writing this blog right now, and then I’ll probably go write a Tweet or two. But that doesn’t change the stereotype.

What people picture when you say you’re a writer is probably closer to a tortured soul furiously typing on typewriter taking swigs of whiskey right from the bottle as the wee hours of morning pass by and a cold sun rises on a grey horizon. And not so much a well-rested twenty-something click clacking away on a laptop in an office building.

But frankly, I think that’s bullshit. Just because I’m not tortured doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. It’s still my craft. I still enjoy getting creative on the page, even if I’m not a creative writer in the traditional sense. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Chelsea currently works as a copywriter at a software company. She is a syntax enthusiast and always enjoys a good dinner party.