Are You a Writer, Yet?

Novice writers often fall into one of three categories. The first category is the almost stereotypical individual who never hesitates to proudly claim to be a writer and boast about works-in-progress and how great they are, but never seems to produce anything. Or at least, never shows the work to others.

The second category is someone who talks about writing a lot, and of the books or stories they want to write. They’ll have notebooks full of ideas, often quite detailed, but no actual words on the page.

The third category is the self-conscious person who doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to identify as a writer simply because none of their works have yet been published.

One of these three is actually a writer. Hint: it’s not the first or second.

When I taught fiction writing, I met a lot in this third category. These were people who wrote regularly. Sure, they had a lot of things to learn, but they were making the effort. Still, they felt that, because they weren’t published, it wasn’t right to call themselves writers.

That’s baloney. There’s only one criterion for being able to properly call yourself a writer, and that’s to write often.

Our bragging friend in the first category may have written something at some point. It might even have been good. The enthusiastic one in the second category may have lots of ideas that could one day become great stories. But unless there’s actual writing going on, the label of writer doesn’t apply to either of them.

Which category are you in?

Posted by vmwales in Writing Process, 1 comment