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.