Am I A Writer?

What gives one the right (or should I say write?) to call themselves a writer? I’ve pondered this question in my mind and on paper for months. I had written a post when I started blogging six months ago and placed it in my drafts when I read the most excellent one ever by http://virginnovelist.blogspot.com/. Hers said very much what I felt but much more eloquently. So I’m telling you to head over there and dig it up for a good read if it’s a subject you’ve pondered over.

I decided to rethink this issue since my thinking and writing processes have changed greatly in six months.

Must I actually earn a living by writing to declare myself a writer? If that’s the case, then I am not a writer. Must a win a contest? I have done that but really nothing that I would say allows me to call myself a writer. Must I be published? I actually have been…extremely small time. Still, nothing to merit the title of “author” . But then again, the title of writer and that of author do vary.

Does writing a blog allow me to claim the title of writer? I do write every day. But then again, anyone can start a blog and type random letters on it and push publish. Does readership of the blog make me a writer?

Must one have a university degree in writing? I am far from that. I don’t possess any particular skills, just a simplistic yet deep love for the written word. Not just words, but the conveyance of emotion in words. The type of words that make you laugh, cry, or really ponder long after you’ve read them.

I’ve seen it written and have heard it said that all great writers suffer. I doubt that that is really true. Personally, I do agonize over my words. I find it painful to select words that emote a sentiment. Does that even make sense? See, I’m obviously, not successful as often as I’d like. However, does that make me less of a writer? I think being a writer is what is felt in the heart. And if indeed, that is the case, then I am a writer.

My friend, Karal, over at The Orange Chair states on her about me section “I am a writer”. And she is a damn fine one at that! I am so proud of her for being able to claim that. My writer’s group tells us to declare ourselves writers and be writers. So, therefore, I feel that one must simply have the love in their hearts and the courage to pick up the pen or approach the keyboard. So, damn it I am a writer.

Some of the greatest writers and poets of all time have been discovered after death. Does that make them have been any less of a writer while they were living? I think not. Had they never been discovered, would that mean they weren’t writers? No. It’s kind of like the thing about a tree falling in the forest and whether anyone was there to hear it.

There are fiction writers, nonfictions writers, screen writers, poets, and technical writers. The list is endless. Not one of them is any less a writer than the other. And then you have the excited kindergartener who has learned to pen his name and he exclaims, “I am a writer! I can write!“ And yes, indeed he is and he can. Why is it so hard for us to enthusiastically declare what lies within our hearts? So, I think the answer to my question “Am I a writer?” lies within my heart. So, if you’ve pondered that question, I urge not to look any further than inside your heart.

54 thoughts on “Am I A Writer?

  1. This post reminds me of a quote I still remember from 11th-grade English. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” Gotta love Wordsworth … and the breathings of our writer-hearts.

  2. I hear what you are trying to wrap your head around and can totally relate to that. I work part-time with an artist and try to dedicate myself to letting words flow out of me a lot of the rest of the time. If asked my “profession”, I am slowly trying to test the word “writer” to fit the bill. I need me to feel the word in me and validate it for myself. Sometimes a hard sell, but worth it. You ARE a writer Suzicate. Go on and write more loveliness for the world to see.

  3. I am not a writer. I am a dentist who enjoys expressing feelings using written words. I am amazed anyone would even want to read what I write and I am truly grateful to those who do. It is funny, in high school, English was my subject and churning out papers was like giving birth. It was painful and took a long time. But in the end you have something original and that is just yours. Now in writing my little blog I find it much easier. There is no “have to” only want to.” I have to admit it has been quite personally rewarding.

  4. All of what you say is true and that alone is proof that you are a writer. I always feel it this way: a person is a writer as long as they have the desire to say they write and the discipline to actually write something. Eventually someone will always end up reading one’s words.

  5. I decided at 8 to be a writer. I started in my 20’s getting paid for some articles and publishing poetry. Yet it took me till 40 to say I was a writer w/o feeling like a fake. I think I’d set the must-have-a-published-novel ideal in my head, which I still struggle with even as I work toward it.
    You’re obviously much smarter! Writers write. Hopefully they have talent. You absolutely are a writere!

  6. Everyone can write – the difference between just writing words and writing something that creates emotion in others is indeed whether or not you put your heart into it and write with feeling. If you are able to do this then you will stir emotions in those that read what you write, you will make people stop and think about what you have written, you will make them laugh, or cry, or remember with feeling similar things that have happened to them. Which is what good writing is all about.

  7. I think you stated it most perfectly right at the end. If you feel it in your heart, it is so!

    And I’m confirming to you that you are indeed a writer, a most wonderful one at that.

  8. I read the title and thought immediately, “You’re kidding right…” There is absolutely NO QUESTION that YOU are a writer. And a talented one at that! I suppose the real question is why we feel that we need justification from our peers to feel that we are indeed writers.

    I don’t claim to be a writer. I just enjoy words. And sharing words with others. But after youir post, perhaps I will think of myself differently. Thanks for the link to the virginnovelist, that was a great post.
    As is yours as well.
    🙂

    • Nancy, you are always so kind. You are what I consider a good writer! And yes, Rebecca is fabulous as well! I guess it’s human nature to always second guess oursleves and wonder if we truly measure up to what we aspire to be.

  9. Who can tell someone whether they are a writer, or not, right?

    Words have different effects on different people. It’s what the words are to you. If your own words move you, then you are a writer.

    Beautifully done. Thank you.

  10. You are most definately a writer and a good one at that. A writer, a poet, a word conveyor, a story teller, however you want to say it, it’s you.

  11. Better yet, you are a THINKER who happens to write well. What a terrific combination, and one that is always worth the effort to stop by and read. I think your commenters here understand all too well…..EFH

  12. My identity is not defined by my occupation or my posessions, but hopefully, by the fruits of my passion and my deeds. And it is clear that writing is indeed one of your passions. It is truly part of your identity, part of who you are and what you share.

  13. Suzicate, of course you are a writer. Your words sparkle off the page! You are prolific, and never fail to tell a story with your words, and one that people love hearing.

  14. It’s such a difficult issue, though, isn’t it? I mean, to truly accept yourself as a writer is, to me at least, something frightening. It’s as if I would jinx any talent I may have with the written word and turn it into mush in my brain if I admit to having it.

    But then again, of course you’re a writer. All of us here on WordPress who are writing so much in and sticking with our blogs are. If being a writer doesn’t mean loving to write and doing it, then what does?

  15. It’s a fascinating point. I’ve sold photographs (not to plump myself up here …only in minimal quantities) so that, stictly speaking, I suppose, I could call myself ‘photographer’. Yet I don’t feel it and I don’t know at what point of recognition it would be *enough* to make me feel it. On that basis, logically, I think if you love writing and practise your art you can call yourself a writer. You don’t need the recognition of millions. Which makes me think that I should stop denigrating myself and also have the courage to apply certain [positive!] descriptions to myself. So thank you ….and this ability to prompt thought is exactly what makes you ‘a writer’.

  16. I think you write beautifully…and I think anyone who enjoys writing can call themselves a writer, even if it is only in a journal.

    For myself, I struggle with this daily. Even after a number of books (all non-fiction) I still cringe when someone calls me an author. Somewhere I feel I am not a writer until I write a fiction piece, but that is really not the case. I have a hard time because this is not the path I set out on…no one ever told me I was a writer or a good writer at that. Blogging has helped improve my confidence and I am thankful for the wonderful comments and emails I receive about my writing.

    • Holly, thanks, There are so many venues of writing that I think it would be selfish for us to consider that only fiction is real writing. Non fiction is just as important. I go through periods in my life that I might read primarily nonfiction and then I’ll shift to fiction. And then there are e-zines, and all sorts of computer and technical writing. My husband is an engineer and does not consider himself a writer per se, but he does a lot of writing, and he’s actually very good at it. I think there are many more writers in the world than we know…we just need to have the courage to claim it! I think we feel we must be reknown to claim it.

  17. Beautifully expressed, SC!

    And you could not have said it any better…

    “Am I a writer?” lies within my heart.”

    BRAVA!

    It’s the same with ANY art form. Writer, painter, actor, dancer, singer, etc.

    It all stems from the heart.

    Passion.

    Like you said, so many of us are afraid to claim our creative ability because we validate it by whether or not we had formal training and get paid for it.

    I once had an acting teacher tell me that the only way you can call yourself an actor, is to get out there and act. Just do it, regardless of whether or not you get paid.

    And he was right!

    Awesome post, SC!

    Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday…X

    • You said it, ron. Just get out there and do what you love. In reality, very few actually make a living doing what they truly love…those are hobbies!

  18. I think just putting any words on paper make you a writer, whether or not you get paid for them. You are one, sure. And a good one at that. 😉

  19. I write what I feel and what I think , so I’m a writer .
    a degree doesn’t make of someone a writer per se.writing is to have a way with words, writing is the ability to translate what you feel and think into words.
    writing is an uphll process , so one can go into hard pains to come out with the right idea /feeling and to pick the appropriate words.In fact , even great writers draft, write and proofread .the opinions of the readership vary according to their attitudes and backgrounds.
    thanks Suzi, I’m sure you’re a writer and an excellent one. It’s not a compliment 😉

  20. I almost didn’t read this post. I looked at it and went “wth? Of course Suzicate is a writer!”. Girl from one writer to another- you are what you believe you are, and if you’re heart says “writer” than so be it.

    Personally, “poet” sounds awesome too and you more than qualify!!

    ♥Spot

  21. This is a great post. In as much as i write, I choose not to call myself one. I just want to write it out and that’s all. Whether I’m chosen as a writer or not doesn’t count to me. What counts is the fact that the picture was painted with my words. Cheers Suzi!

  22. I said this a while back to another blogger talking about what makes us writers: for me, writer = process more than profession. What we do to help ourselves write, to develop our voices in written form — that is what makes us writers. So whether that’s pursuing a degree or just coming to the page every day, week, or few weeks, we write. And call ourselves writers, even as that process changes.

  23. I can really relate to you on this! I think a writer is anyone who writes and enjoys what they do. And you are definitely a writer because I can feel your passion in your posts!
    -Jen

  24. Well, I certainly would throw you into the “writer’s” category (not literally because I abhor physical violence…unless it’s necessary, like when your neighbor is dumping their dog waste in your side yard. Totally justified.) Seriously, though, I think being a “writer” simply means you’re inspired. Whether that inspiration is shared with the world is a moot point.
    Keep on keepin’ on with your gift, lady. 🙂
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  25. to be a writer you have to write. lol
    The only thing people can judge is how good a writer is.
    And personally, i think you’re a good writer.
    You certainly put across a good balanced case in this post

  26. Ray nominated you via email for perfect week 16, I will give it to you on week 17.
    I did not check my email on time,
    sorry.

    You are perfect all the way.
    I knew it.

  27. I am a writer. Not an author. But I am a writer.

    And I believe you are a writer, Suzicate. I think that you are a fabulous writer, and you have it in you to be a dang fine author!

  28. I had 48 hours of labor, yes you read that correctly and still ended up with an emergency C-section. I only have one kid and that is one of the big reasons why

  29. In my opinion, when it’s in your soul and you can’t stop, then you’re a writer. And I hope you don’t ever truly question it, because there’s no doubt that you are.

  30. Consider being a writer is on how you feel and express yourself so openly…it matters not on how others responses are….it is you that makes this feeling inside come alive and seeing the end result of your thoughts in front of you which makes you have more passion to continue what you truly have inside you…keep writing it is food for the Soul….enjoy Suzicate(+)
    Dom*:)

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