What Makes Someone a ‘Writer’?

If you’re here, you have an interest in writing, or know someone who does.  But what, at the heart of the matter, makes someone cross over from interested to intense?  From wanna-be to gotta-be?  From hopeful to hellbent?

What makes someone claim the title, pick up the mantle, and be able to say — when asked at a party what they do — “I’m a writer.”?

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This is a very personal question, because you have to be a writer often long before you’re a ‘paid writer’, ‘professional writer’, or ‘famous writer’.  You can’t just declare yourself a doctor (not without massive lawsuits ensuing) but one day, if you haven’t already, you’ll have to declare yourself a ‘writer’.

For me, it was ‘novelist’.  I could call my teenage self a writer because of the mere fact that I wrote.  But ‘novelist’ was the pillar, and I waited until I’d finished all drafts of my first novel to present myself that way to the world.  Now, I’ve been comfortable with it for so long that I forget the newbie’s fear — ‘Am I a real writer?’

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Yes, you are.  Yes you ARE.

Writers are often humble and unsure.  We’ve read Shakespeare, Hemingway, Fitzgerald — it takes a lot of audacity to join the party and think we’ll have something to contribute to the conversation.  But the greats probably thought that too.  Our early efforts can be frustrating, because we know good, but we can’t always recreate it.

— Ira Glass

But you know, at a soul level, that you’re a writer.  You have a story to tell, an idea to share, a wrong to right through letters and lines.  You’ve probably been thinking about the book you’re writing (or want to write) for a long time.  If you love good literature and hard work, believe me, you can create something sensational.  And you can change not only your life but someone else’s as well.

So you’ve come to the right place — the land of dreamers, the island of misfit toys.  Some of us have been ‘writers’ for a very long time, but most of us have only recently been willing to show that side to the light.  We’ll help you and encourage you.  There’s no magic to becoming one of us, but there’s a lot of magic after you do.

So say right now — ‘I am a writer!’  Then smile; you’re about to change the world.

Found on feedly.com

— Katherine Cerulean

4 Comments

  1. Good thoughts. I’m the same with calling myself a blogger. I blog, but for a long time I did not accept the label because I did not blog often enough or good enough or whatever. And I don’t get paid to do it. Actually I pay to do it! That’s how much I like it and want to be good at it. Take care!

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    1. There’s a lot written about ‘impostor syndrome’ and I too felt that way for years. I’d call myself a writer but not a novelist or (lord help us) a ‘professional writer’. But I kept at it (paying more in than I was getting out too 😉 and then one day I was experienced enough to decide that life was too short not to own your awesomeness. Almost everyone who’s a pro now starting out feeling a fake — like they were getting away with something.

      I looked at your blog — you’re a good writer! And blogger! I hope you continue to write and own the title — because you’re definitely the real deal. Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. More good thoughts! Thank you for the compliments and encouragement 😀 I’ve read a bit about imposter syndrome. I’ve felt it before in various ways. Not comfortable. Self-doubt is not cool… Take care!

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  2. Thank you! It’s easy to compare our ‘behind the scenes’ to everyone else’s ‘highlight reels’ but the more we think and learn about this stuff, I think the easier it gets to recognize the limitations of our thinking and own our awesome. Good luck on your path!

    Liked by 1 person

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