Dear Writer,

Yes, that’s you. That’s the dilemma, isn’t it? When can you legitimately call yourself a writer? When is it okay to look someone in the eye and say with conviction, ‘I am a writer.’

You are a writer if:

– you write
– you’re serious about your writing
– you’re seriously not serious about writing
– you find yourself listening to people and mining them for stories you could tell.
– you love words
– beautifully formed sentences excite you
– you spend a day deciding whether to put in a comma and then the next day wondering if you should take it out
– you think your characters are real people
– you love words for their sound, rhythm or pattern regardless of their meaning
– you love talking about books and writing
– you agonize that the vision in your head will always fall short on the page
– you start writing, surfacing hours later, and it feels like minutes
– you can’t wait to get to your desk to start writing
– you clean the toilet, vacuum, do the laundry, anything that you can find that stops you writing when all the time you’re thinking about writing
– you show your work to someone else
– writing is harder for you than it is for most people

Please let me know your experiences so we can add them to the list.

If you recognize one or more of these things in yourself next time someone asks what you do, you can look them in the eye and say with conviction, ‘I am a writer.’

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6 Responses to Dear Writer,

  1. Diana Threlfo says:

    Karen…that’s a ‘writer’ in a nutshell, and now you’ve managed to convince me that I am, indeed, a writer. Thank you for that!

  2. Maree Gallop says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for such an interesting post. This certainly got me thinking about why it is so difficult to think of my self as a ‘writer’. Yes all those things that you list are true and most of us that share a passion for writing would agree that yes if we ticked all those things off we could definately call ourselves writers. But for me, and maybe some others, there is another dimension. It also includes some confidence. Sharing your writing with others can be quite daunting if you are new at the game. At times I feel very vulnerable. I guess sometimes we are our own worst critics which makes it difficult to look someone in the eye and say “I am a writer.” One thing I have found is that the writing community is very supportive, which will go along way to boost my confidence. Who knows one day soon I will be able to say those words with confidence.
    Maree G.

    • Hi Maree. Thank you for such a thoughtful response. I wonder if it’s possible to be a writer and not ever feel vulnerable and full of self-doubt? But even if we can’t admit we’re writers without cringing, it doesn’t mean we’re not writers. Even experienced authors feel like you do. I know I have to fight against a host of fears, of inadequacy or being scared of revealing too much of myself. The only thing that helps me is to turn that negative energy into a determined effort to learn more of the craft and to keep writing, and that, in turn, gives me a little more confidence. At least until the next time.
      Although you may not feel confident in saying it, your comments and your passion for writing makes it obvious to me that you are a writer.

  3. julzwrites says:

    I am a writer! Great post. New follower 🙂

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