What constitutes a writer? Talent? Perseverance? Success? Being Published? I have attended numerous writing seminars and conferences and many times I will ask some friends to join me. I am surprised by many who say, “But, I am not a writer?” I query, “what do you mean?” They continue, “But I don’t write professionally.” My point to them is that you don’t have to be a professional writer to be a writer. Just because your mission is not to earn a living writing or getting published does not negate the fact that any expression or story you put on paper (or into the computer) makes you a writer.
Now, whether they are a good writer is certainly subjective and up for debate.
What I like about certain conferences is you participate in writing exercises that get you in touch with your creative self or many times, it highlights something important to you or brings to surface a story you need to tell.
And telling that story, whether fiction or non-fiction is writing. The quality of the assemblance of words and conveyance of the idea may need practice or work, but with some effort and perseverance and focus, a writer can improve that ability.
So, if you have a story to tell, then TELL IT. Do not get caught up in the misnomer that you are not a writer. Once you put words and ideas together, you are! Don’t let fear inhibit your creativity.
Ever since I was 5 years old, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write children’s stories because at 5, a novel seemed impossible but children’s stories, which are shorter, seemed feasible. Somehow I took a technical path in my education and career …. Ooops! But when I examine why I did not pursue Writing & Journalism as I always thought I would, it is because I did not think I had anything to say. And, if I did not, then what was I going to write about? Such is the innocence and stupidity of a 17 year old. I did not know the experiences life had in store for me. And it is from that – life experiences – which memoirs and most stories come from.
I realized when I was in my late 20s, I had something to say. And I wanted to write something but I did not know where to start or how. But, I was scared to expose myself and my vulnerabilities and my imperfections (I do not think I have any but my family & friends are quite vocal in telling me I do!). I thought I would feel embarrassed. Once I let go of that fear and did not care what people thought n or was afraid of being judged, it freed me to where I could, with abandon, be completely honest in what I had to say. It is at that point I realized – I WAS A WRITER.
For someone who has ancestral ties to Walter Macken and James Joyce, I know I am nowhere near their level but that does not mean I do not have a voice, my own style or am not a writer.
Would love to hear about when you realized you were a writer and had something to say.