A Writer: What The Heck Is One?

Novel Progress: Slooooooow!

First drafts are easy. Second drafts, not so much so. In fifteen days, I’ve gotten four out of thirty four chapters “finished”.

Writing Advice: How Do You Know When You’re A Writer?

I’ve seen this bouncing from person to person over the years – differing opinions on what a writer is. Some say that you’re not a writer until you’ve published something. Others, that you’re not a writer until you get an audience. Others, that you’re not a writer until you’ve had a liver transplant from all of the drinking and whining you’ve done.

And to all these ideas, I say POOH! Sorry to cuss, but there it is. It’s a bunch of ridiculous nonsense.

A writer writes. The end.

There’s nothing mystical about it. It’s not a holy order or a priesthood. It’s not a secret society, nor is it laden with heavy destiny. It’s not a knighthood, an honorific, or like being a Jedi.

If you only write ad copy, you’re a writer. If you only write fan fiction, you’re a writer. If you only write technical manuals, you’re a writer, etc.

There are lots of flavors of writers. There are novelists, poets, columnists, journalists, translators, screenwriters, historians, etc. Anyone who says that one is definitely greater than the other is, at best, a cretin.

Now I have my own preferences. I don’t like poetry very much. I used to love it, but I’ve moved away from it. But I would never say that a poet is inferior to, say, a screenwriter.

Mad respect to ANYONE who can carve an idea or information out of words. Words are a terrible medium, because language is messy as hell! Sometimes it is like building a tower out of mud.

If anyone says different – if someone says to you “oh, but you’re NOT a writer yet because…” then thank them gratefully. They have now let you know that you don’t have to pay attention to anything they say from now on. Very nice of them to let you know. If only more people were that kind!

So are you writing anything? If so, congratulations! You’re a writer!

However, you’re an atrocious speller.