I was thinking about the things that make a writer and I began to brainstorm this piece a few days ago. Then I recently had a conversation with a fellow writer who claims she isn’t a ‘real writer’ and gave me various reasons why she thought that. I decided I had to write this, even though it’s unconventional for me to do an actual blog post in my own voice, apart from updates and awards. It’s nothing profound, neither is it anything that probably hasn’t already been said in one format or another elsewhere. This is just for fun.
If you’re reading this, my friend who thinks she’s not a real writer, you can identify yourself in the comments, if you like. I didn’t want to be presumptuous and assume you’d like to be singled out.
What is a writer? We all have our own definitions, but, since I believe I’m a writer, and I can’t control my urge to write, I thought I’d create my own. Of course, I was careful to be sure I fit the description. If you say yes to all 5 of these points, then you are a writer. If you say no to any of them, you are still a writer because it meant enough for you to find out. If you’d like to share some other points, please comment below!
You know you’re a writer if:
1. You are driven to write with a force powerful enough that you are compelled to beat yourself up whenever you don’t write. If you go for a long period without writing, you always have it in your mind that you will get back to it one day soon. You’re certain of it.
2. When you are proud of something you wrote, you ache for it to be read, and you want as many people to read it as possible, and feedback from every one of them. If you answer no to this one, then you may be a writer that values your work like a family heirloom and you’re afraid other hands will tarnish it or break it. You may be unsure of your talents or your worth, and any criticism may devastate you.
3. Regarding publication:
A. For you, publication is not at all about status, but rather it’s an inner validation, a pride. Secretly many writers are unsure about calling themselves writers unless they have a way to prove it, as in publication. However in most cases, if you’re a writer, publication is like a trophy, the gold medal. Publication is the reward that acknowledges the value in your words, which you shaped so precisely. Yes, we are capable of inner reward, but the high of external validation feels so good.
B. If you are published, it’s a struggle not to let the status get to your head, because it’s often a long, grueling process to get where you are. People have such high esteem for published writers and your pride can only take so much elevation before your equilibrium of self-awareness is off, which is perfectly understandable. Yet, if you’re a writer, and you’re published, it’s not about status, fame, or money, it’s about the ability to make a living doing what you love.
4. You love being in a community of writers. You value their critiques. There is mutual support. You consider the community of writers to be a world of its own, and every genre is a different culture.
5. Your ass may be widening as I write this. If not, you work out daily in order to avoid that.
Here’s an extra one: You cringe when you make typos in a chatroom, and wish you could go back to edit conversations.
Ok, well I think this was my first traditional blog post, maybe. Hope you enjoyed it! *goes back to hide behind Grimm*