16 August 2010

You are who you choose to be, or whatever. On writing, and writers, and whatnot.

I've been paid to write at every job I've ever had.
Unpublished.
Published.
Under my name.
Anonymously.
Under the name of someone who did half the work for twice the pay.

Curriculum.
Brochures.
Correspondence.
Press Releases.
Policy & Procedure Manuals.
Training Leaflets.
Research Papers.
Exams.
Narratives.
Textbooks.

-Does that make you a writer?
-No.
-Why not?
-Because I don't think of myself as a writer.
-Because I don't want to be a writer.
-Because I don't define myself as a writer.
-Because really, I don't enjoy writing.

I know people, scads of people, talented and mediocre alike, who have never been paid to write.
But they want to be writers.
So! I say, You are a writer!
If you define yourself as a writer, it doesn't matter where and how and for whom you write.
It doesn't matter.
You stab your finger into your chest and you declare it: I am a writer.
You are.
You're a writer.
You're a writer.
You're a writer.

Does that make bloggers writers?
Only if they choose to be writers.

I'm not a writer, but maybe you are.

15 comments:

  1. Love it. (and yes, I am a writer.)

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  2. amen. i love this because i really enjoy writing. and i've never gotten paid a dime for it.

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  3. And you, my dear, are a writer. Honest.

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  4. All published authors are writers but not all writers are published authors. It's simple, but some people have a problem with it. And you are totally a writer.

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  5. I am a writer. I'll make no claims as to the QUALITY of the writing, but it definitely exists!

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  6. You said it. No one pays me but I'm definitely a writer. Even if no one likes my shit I'm still a writer.

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  7. I have never thought of myself as a writer....a blogger, yes. A writer, not so much. Maybe I should. :)

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  8. (Oh look, I can comment!)

    Also, this right here? Makes you a writer. So there.

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  9. I feel like writing is akin to education. You usually don't get paid for it, and sometimes you have to pay for it but you- and others- always benefit.

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  10. Oh, I love this. Beautifully, powerfully stated. Writing is one of those embattled (embittering) vocations that leaves a lot of room for different definitions. This one is very, very nice.

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  11. This is great. Think a lot of people think this about being a musician, though.. and it's just not the same. ;)

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I live for validation.