Friday, July 16, 2010

Don't Be a Writer

Someone I follow on Twitter posted this the other day:

"Don’t be a writer. Be writing.”

This simple admonition stuck with me (as words of wisdom should). I’ve read several forum threads about what makes you a “writer”. It seems there are two distinct camps: those who believe you’re officially a writer once you’re paid for your work, and those who think you’re a writer regardless.

While I’d love to get paid for my *fabulous writing*, I’ve been firmly in the latter camp until now. Because of my tweeting friend, I’ve started a new camp: Writers are people who write.

Crazy, huh? I wrote a book, but that doesn’t make me a writer. If I don’t ever put down another word, I can’t say I’m “a writer” just because I’ve done it once. I’ve run before (and barely lived to tell about it), so does that make me “a runner”? Of course not. Heck, even if I’d enjoyed it (yeah, right), I wouldn’t be able to label myself that way.

So, truth be told, I’m not a writer because I wrote a book. I’m a writer because I write this blog, and I write itty bitty action scenes and I’ll continue to be a writer as I flesh out the latest characters dancing in my head. I think you get the idea.

Don’t talk about it. Just do it! There is no try. There is no spoon. Ok, having too much fun with the tag lines here! Hee-hee!


  1. Wise words from a great lady! I love the running analogy. I have run before, under duress, and believe me, I am NOT a runner!

  2. I've always considered myself to be a writer, though I've never been paid for my work. I've been published in lit zines, though even if I wasn't I would still call myself a writer because it's what I love to do, and I do it often.

    Writers ARE people who write :)

  3. I love it! I think I started to say I think I'll have that tattooed on my ass, but we've just met and I don't want you to think I'm weird. Great blog post!