Am I A Writer?

Báyron of the great Ethecofem blog asks:

Wait a minute, does this mean I count as a writer if I keep a blog?

If you are asking yourself the same question, here is what you need to consider:

– Do you write?

– Do you spend a significant portion of your time writing?

– Do you have readers?

– Are you a reader?

– Is writing an important part of your identity?

If the answer is yes, then you are a writer. And the reason why you have trouble seeing yourself as a writer might be that you have an erroneous image of what a writer is like. (See here and here for more on this subject).

A Writer’s Mentality

You always know a writer when you meet one. Irrespective of whether they have published anything, people with a writer’s mentality share one extremely annoying characteristic: they can only talk about their writing. No matter what topic you try to broach with them, it always comes back to their writing.

“The weather is really beautiful today,” you mention to a writer.

“Yes,” she responds. “This makes me think of a description of springtime from a short story I wrote in 1992. Let me read it to you.”

“My boss is not happy with my performance,” you share with a writer. “This is very stressful to me. What if I get fired?”

“Hardship is an inescapable part of life,” he says. “My most recent novel has been rejected by 17 publishing houses. Let me read you a letter I received from one of them and you’ll tell me what you think.”

“My husband and I had a huge fight,” you complain. “I’m thinking we might need couples’ therapy.”

“I offered some interesting insights into challenges people encounter in their romantic life in my 2010 trilogy. Have you read it? Can I ask you to review it on Amazon?”

I almost turned into this person (“Yes, as I said last week on my blog. . .”) but I stopped myself in time. I don’t want people I know to have nervous breakdowns when they hear the word “blog.”