When Are You A ‘Real’ Writer?

Sometimes you see different opinions on what makes someone a real writer. Some will say you can’t call yourself a true writer until you’re published – or published by a traditional publisher. I’ve noticed there’s some strange limitations people put on writing. I recently read an article that said “If you don’t think you need to revise your work after criticism, you’re not a writer.” I don’t think it’s wrong to keep something you created as is if you like it that way. Whether you take critiques on your work or you don’t, does that affect your ability to claim the title ‘author’?

The Oxford dictionary says a writer is: a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation. i.e. “the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark”

I like the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of a writer a little better. Here’s what it has to say about writers: “a person who writes books or articles to be published”

On yourdictionary.com, the definition finally settles it! It says that a writer is: A person who writes.

So there we have it! If you write, you’re a writer. Some people refer to themselves as aspiring writers even though they’re currently working on a story. I really believe that if you write currently, regardless of how long the work is, you’re a writer. You don’t need to write everyday to be a writer. You also don’t need to be a published author to be a writer. If you take time to regularly write something, be it fiction or nonfiction, you’re certainly a writer and you deserve the title. If you blog, you’re also a writer. Your skill will develop and improve as time goes on. You don’t need to be prolific or great when you start off. Everyone begins somewhere. The truth is that we all have our own style and way of doing things. It’s what makes our work unique. Some people take criticism to heart and they will bend and remold their story to please others, while others prefer to stay true to their vision and leave their work as is. Both ways are okay – as long as you’re satisfied with the process.

I think it’s important that we confidently identify ourselves as who we really are. If you write, you’re certainly a writer. If you’re happy with who you are and what you write, that will be reflected in your writing. Confidence is a skill and it can be worked on and strengthened as you go through life.

If you write, I hope you know that you’re truly a writer whether you’re published or not. Happy writing! Xx

(Photo by Judit Peter from Pexels)

14 comments

  1. I agree that “if you write, you’re a writer.” You can insert the adjective “professional” if you’re doing it for a paid living, and that’s where the first two definitions get hung up.

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