• KL Forslund

Are you a Writer?

I learned somewhere, that almost every news article that starts with a question, the answer is no. I like bucking trends, so read on for the answer. This topic bumps around in my head now and the, and as I was crawling in my attic trying to fix the drainage for my AC, I realized I needed a topic for this week’s blog post, because my next big article isn’t done.

Snobs ruin everything. They classify and categorize things like all humans do, but they use it to isolate and elevate themselves. Chances are, you’re reading my blog because you’re a reader or a writer. And if the latter, you’re wondering if you should call yourself that. The answer is, yes, you are a writer. You’ll note that at the time of this article’s publishing, I am not published, yet I have web site and business cards that present me as a writer.

I did the research. Checked the dictionary. By the dictionary, writer and author are the same thing. Then those snobs I warned you about got involved. You’ll find articles that say an author is published, a writer is not. Or that an author creates literature, a writer creates anything else. Bull crap. The dictionary wins. The two words can be used interchangeably.

Let’s do examples.

Do you have a friend who plays golf? Do they own their clubs? Do they intend to play golf again? If you answered yes to all those questions, then your friend is a golfer. One who golfs.

Do you have a friend who plays music? Do they own a musical instrument? Do they intend to play music again? Yes means they are a musician. Unless he only owns sticks, then he’s drummer. Or he’s the singer. Singers are too lazy to even buy a microphone. They aren’t musicians.

Last one, now I’ve had my dig at bandmates who don’t own gear. Do you write? Do you own the tools to write? Do you intend to write again? The barrier to entry to being a writer is low. Congrats. Tell people you are a writer. Don’t worry about it.

If you still feel the need to slice and dice this in social situations, the only time it might matter is if there’s the implication of being a professional or not. In Texas, there’s a law that says you must be certified by the state to call yourself an engineer. Writing has no such laws. You don’t even need a degree. If you write in sufficient volume or practice that on introduction it is more interesting to say “I’m a writer” than it is to say “I’m an accountant.” then you are a writer.

I get it, people want to appear humble. If you want to self-deprecate yourself, announce yourself as “aspiring writer” or author until you get your first works published. But it’s unnecessary. When you say “I’m a writer,” at a cocktail party, the other person will respond in one of three ways:

  1. Will not care, and keep talking about themselves

  2. they will be interested and ask questions

  3. they’re a snob and will give you grief if you’re not published.

You can walk away from person #1 or #3, maybe slosh your drink on them first, it’s OK.

Glad I could settle that inner debate for everybody.

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Tags:#amwriting #writer #author

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