If I write, does that mean I am a writer?
*ponders some more*
What does it mean to be a writer? Seriously? I mean, can’t anyone can say that ‘I’m a writer!’ but what really defines what one is? Do you have to be published to become a writer? What is the definition of the field? I’ve seen to many articles slandering people who have been published. But hey dude, they have and you haven’t. Others complain that our book shelf’s are full to the brim with crap people call literature. That publishers will try to sell anything for a buck. Doesn’t everyone these days?
We are all given the opportunity to express our selves equally. Some people are just more driven to write something, good or not, and send it to editors until someone picks it up and says they are willing to publish it. It then falls to the consumer to pick it up and read it. No one is forcing you to read something you do not want to read, unless your still in college. But we are a bit off topic because all I really want to know is, what defines you as a writer?
Is a regular blogger a writer? By posting my thoughts and opinions on the internets mean I am ‘published’? Is a finance analyst who writes financial reports a writer? Is a secretary who writes job procedures a writer?Is an English teacher who gives us our direction and inspiration to write short stories a writer by default of their knowledge in the field? If you e-publish your work -which I heard is free to do- does that make you a writer or an author? Both? Even if no one buys it, downloads it, whatever?
After skimming so many opinions on the topic, I just don’t have an answer for the question anymore. Just because you have painted something, does that make you an artist? There has to be a line you cross somewhere that defines you as having the credentials you claim. SO what are they, when does it happen? What achievements must you gain to state confidently that you are…whatever it is you say you are.
For example, being unemployed has shaken my foundation a bit. Causing me to open my eyes and wonder what I really enjoy doing. What defines who I am. What abilities can I honestly put on my resume that represent what I am capable of. I made a business card recently hoping to hand out when I network. Something I believe myself terrible at. So I sat and pondered for a few days because I didn’t know what I could say, in the smallest space possible, that would encompass who I am. What it is I am capable of. It was a tricky and condescending process. I ended up with this:
Analyst, Planner and Designer
I used the layout of the card to represent my designer side which I guess really encompasses all my creativity. I couldn’t break down photographer, stationery maker, decorator blah blah because I’m not really great at any of those things but the creativity involved shows how much those things mean to me. Now Analyst, well analyzing is a huge part of my personality. Friends and family know this. A weird mix in a creative person I know. That is probably why I’ve never thrown caution to the wind and immersed myself in the love I have for all things art and went to business school instead. And in a professional capacity, the Planner is what I have the most experience in. Analyzing the planning data is second nature to the job. But do these 3 words really encompass who I am? Have I earned the right to call myself any of these things?
Notice writer is not on that list above. I honestly don’t believe I am one, even though I really want to be one. So can it be as simple as that? If I don’t believe I am something does that mean I am not? If I wake up tomorrow and go “By God, today I am a writer!” Does that suddenly make me one? *shrug* I don’t know what line I have to cross before I can add a skill to my list of achievements. Even saying I am a designer sounds flighty to my ears, but it is the best word in my vocabulary that encompasses my creativity. Trying to put who I am on a little card in a short few words has opened a can a worms I contemplate everyday.
What defines who you are?