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Rambling thoughts… What is a writer?

How do you know… or who decides, I suppose… if and when a person is “allowed” to refer to themself as a writer?

Must your work have been published in paper form? Must it be an actual book, or are magazines, trade journals, newsletters, etc. acceptable?

What if your medium is online – web site articles, blogging, etc.?  (Is that cheating, somehow?)

Does it matter who publishes your work? What about self-publishing? (Cheating, again?)

Must you have been paid for your writing?  Must you sell a certain amount of product?

Must you have an audience of a specific size or demographic?  What if all you ever do is write for your own consumption?  (If a tree falls in the forest…)

Do you have to be “good” by some particular person’s definition? Or is the love of writing enough?

So many questions… and I suspect the answer completely depends on who you ask.

I think I’ll just keep writing until I figure it out.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Terilynn November 25, 2009

    And I will continue to read regardless of what answers you some up with. 🙂

  • Mozette November 25, 2009

    I believe that the love of writing is enough. However you must be educated in the publishing world and all its legalities too. It's a lot to work with and it can get very bitchy and worrisome. However, if you don't lose sleep over it and enjoy the solitary freedom that writing gives you, you can call yourself a writer.

    I've been writing a number of genres since I was 15 and don't intend to stop. Whether I'm blogging it or actually manage to get myself into a bookstore is a matter of geography and money.

    What you must remember is the breakdown of the word: writer. One who writes.

  • Laurel Regan November 25, 2009

    @Terilynn – I'm glad you're here – thank you! 🙂

    @Mozette – It's interesting how many different perspectives there can be, and how many different answers to the same question. I'm not totally sure what I personally think!


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