I Am A Writer – Why I Finally Said It

July 11, 2011
Yesterday, I got my September 2011 issue of Writer's Digest in the mail and something I read immediately inspired today’s post. For you subscribers out there who have gotten your issue already, turn to page 34 with me (for those of you who aren’t subscribers, just follow along…) Now, read the title, "10 Things For Every Writer’s Bucket List”

When I first read the title, I thought, “Oh! How fun! I wonder what it could be?” Then I read the next line. “Check these off your list someday, and you’ll be able to look anybody in the eye and say with assurance, ‘I am a writer’”(Writer’s Digest, September 2011).

Wait a minute…what did I just read?

“Check these off your list someday”?  (Wow, someday, huh? It’s good to know that this writer has a little faith in her fellow writer kind. What does someday mean exactly? Remember when you asked your parents for candy at the store? What if they responded with, “Someday.” You know how you would have interpreted that? Someday…meant never).

“…You’ll be able to look anybody in the eye and say with assurance, “I am a writer.”

The list of ten included everything from publishing a short story, to taking a writing retreat, to writing a novel, to freelancing for money…

And except for writing a novel (which I have done…or at least taken my stab at…) I haven’t done a thing on this list. Not even published a short story.

But you know what? I’m saying it anyway (I even practiced in the mirror this morning)…
I am a writer.

Let me say this again….

I am a writer.

There, I said it.

And you know what? It felt pretty good. Say it with me. I dare you. I am a writer. Feels good, doesn’t it?
You know why it feels good to say that finally? Because if you write, you are a writer. I write. I am a writer. I am not an aspiring writer. If I wasn’t writing, I might be an aspiring writer. But even then, I’ve learned a lot of the work done for a novel or short story or poem is done inside my mind first. I will say this: I am an aspiring author. An author is an entirely different definition. But a writer…well, a just look up the word in your dictionary. Here, I did it for you. Just click that link: Writer

According to Webster, a writer is someone who writes.

Hey, is it just me or does that definition forget the words “published” or “freelance” or “conference.” Hmmm, maybe Webster has it wrong…

Or, maybe it’s by our own definition do we call ourselves a “writer.”

Today, I’m inspired to write because I am finally calling myself a writer. And I didn’t even blink an eye. I didn’t wince. I didn’t feel the need to explain, justify, or defend myself. I am a writer, because I say so. 
And you know what? A dinosaur didn’t try to attack me…

No one turned to me to point and scream after I said it…

Or thought I was a fake or a fraud….

Or called me a Goonie.

So say it. I dare you.


  1. I'm finally learning to say it, although more to myself and online then out in the real world. I know I'm a writer because I write every day. Even if my novel isn't finished, I have written a couple of short stories and I write on my writing blog every day (sort of a daily journaling thing called The One-Minute Writer). But my class reunion is next month so when they ask what I do, do I say writer? I want to, but I'm scared!

    I just got that issue of WD too. I'll be checking that article out.

  2. I would say it! If they ask, "Oh, have you been published?" Say, "I'm trying to get to that point. Why do you know anyone?" :)

    And let me know what you think about the issue! Maybe it was just me...but it bothered me a bit!

  3. You ARE a writer because you have readers! :)

    This blog is proof enough.

    I am a writer! Hear me ROAR! Wait...Read me ROAR!! lol

  4. Oh, and I did get my issue of WD and my favorite was reading the entries to that picture of the lady's hands holding onto the cliff. :)

  5. It's quite the feeling to actually say it isn't it? I hate when you mention it, and someone asks if you're published, and you say you're not. And they completely blow you off. *sigh*

  6. Ah! Such a great post. I am a writer. It sounds good :) I haven't done anything on that list either...but still. I am a writer. And so are you :) Love it! And awesome videos :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  7. Just keep saying it. The more you say the more you'll feel it. And when they act as if you're fooling yourself you will know that they are wrong.

  8. Of course you're a writer!

    I've never viewed a title like "writer" as a big deal, myself. Like you said, if you write, you're a writer. If anything, I'd almost prefer to be called a "storyteller" or something like that. Sounds more interesting.

    And I used to be subscribed to Writer's DIgest, years ago, but I'm the kind of person who actually loses his will to write the more he reads about writing. It all seems so...I don't know what. Plus, I'd never go on a "writing retreat." Ever.

    Anyway, yet another cool post. Don't even worry about being called a "writer" or "author." Just keep doing what you're doing.

  9. @Diane -- me too!! I loved those little stories they put in the magazine!!! And hey, you are right! I have readers here! So that is even further proof!!

    @Donna - I know, I hate that type of response. I figure though I'd still hate it when I would be able to say "yes" and they respond with, "Oh I haven't heard of you."

    @Sarah - good to know I'm not alone in fulfilling that list. :) I'd like to but for now...I don't know...it isn't the end all be all!

    @Laila -- Yes - I want to have that feeling of them being just wrong! And being okay with how they are feeling. That is definitely my ideal...

  10. @Rob - that's a great idea!! I'm a storyteller...I like that too. Especially since the response will probably end up being, "Oh yah? Tell me a story." Hee hee... now THAT would be cool!!

    I do know what you mean about reading writing magazines like that. When I get bogged down by the "rules" of writing, I tend to lose my energy. I don't mind when I'm editing, but when I'm trying to get the story down, it doesn't end up being a good end.

  11. Good post, hon. I enjoyed this. :) And, I agree with this message within your post.

  12. Fun post!! I really hate the phrase "aspiring writer". I think it's a silly nonsense term. Cheers to us writers! :)

  13. YAY! You are a writer...
    I've just got comfortable with calling myself an author - I have short stories published... ikes!

  14. Great reminder:) I have a novel I just finished and started querying about, called 18 Things. It's comparable to a YA version of The Bucket List so I was excited about the article. Totally agree with you--I AM A W*R*I*T*E*R!!

  15. @Michelle @Andrea @April @JamieAyres @Jessica

    Oh thank you for your comments!!

    @Michelle - oh that must be such a fun transition!! One day (hopefully soon), I want to call myself a published AUTHOR. HA!

    @JamieAyres That's such an exciting time! I'm sending positive thoughts your way!!

  16. Nice post, I really hate it when people seem to feel there is a set of rules for writing. If you love to pick up a pen and put it to paper you're a writer! Saw your post through seeded buzz. To see why I write check out my post http://wealie.co.uk/my-art/why-write/

  17. @Wealie -- Thanks for the comment! I just followed your blog!! I'm checking it out now!! (And yes, those laundry list of rules almost seem to inhibit the creative process, which can only hurt good writing. It's important to learn, most definitely, but for me, I just like getting my stories out on paper...THEN worry about the rules!)

  18. Yay Nicole! I'm a writer, too!! Okay, so I've only written a novel. None of that other stuff. And i'm very new at it, too, but I still call myself a writer and nobody can take that away from me. Or you either. Great post!

    BTW - I'm a new follower. Come on over to my neck of the woods some time. I love to receive & give comments. I've learned more through other writers than I could ever learn from any book or class. I hope to see you around.

  19. Hmmmm!!! You seem like a writer to me. Thanks for following my blog and I am now your newest follower. Looking forward to your writings.

  20. I love this post. Now you need to have business cards made up advertising your blog and also your freelance writing services. Write a guest opinion on some timely subject for every newspaper in your area (If they choose to print your article you have become published.) Keep writing!!

  21. I concur with Doreen - buy the business cards - and then pass them out! I wrote free movie reviews for a small town paper back in the day. Hey - I got free movie tickets out of it and clips. Good luck, Ms. Write. Can't get these things to sign me out right - Kathy Lynn Hall (Red Mojo Mama)

  22. @ Nancy - yay!! It's good to know you are doing it too! (And I just followed your blog!!)

    @ImSoVintage - Thank you!! :)

    @Doreen - That's actually not a bad idea! I like the idea of being my area's "local voice." :)

    @Shelly - Thank you!

    @AndBeyond - Oh, freebies alone would inspire me to do that!! That's awesome!! Thank you!

  23. I am a writer. I have recently taken to writing this on forms - medical forms for my kids, jury duty paperwork, etc. It is what I do.

  24. I have to ask, what were the ten items listed in the piece?

  25. Love this! Good for you.

    I must leave one of my favorite quotes here because I think it speaks to what's at the heart of this post.

    "If I didn't define myself for myself I would be crunched into other peoples fantasies for me and eaten alive."


  26. @Tonja - oh that's awesome!! You are inspiring me to do the same! I love that!!

    @inurbase - I will have to check!! The secodn I find that magazine, I will let you know!

    @Metch - Oh I love that quote. I'm gonna remember that, I swear!! It's like something my mom has always said to me, "Don't let anyone else define who you are. You define you."


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