What Makes a Writer a Writer

Words on paper photograph Unsplash Debbie Hudson

Is it the lines you write?

The books you author?

The readers you gain?

The books you sell?

Is it the hours of solitude you devote to your craft?

Is it your sensitivity and keen sense of observation?

Your rich imagination?

Your daydreams and your fantasies?

Your playful desire to rewrite reality, to make it sweeter, softer, more controllable?

To create characters and settings?

To introspect and confess and redress?

To organize your thoughts on paper and understand them better?

To accuse and proclaim and critique?

To giving a voice to those who’ve lost it?

Is it all of these?

Is it something else?

What makes a writer a writer is not what others make of your writing.

It’s not how much you write, whether you publish or share your writing or make money out of it.

It’s writing because writing makes you you.

You may not have a writing goal.

You may not have a writing job.

Maybe you only write because it brings you pleasure.

Maybe you only write because it brings you pain—the kind of pain that forces you to acknowledge that pain is there, inside of you, and helps you understand it better; where it comes from, why it’s there.

Maybe one day you will publish something.

Or maybe you will keep your writing to yourself, for it to be discovered in a mothy drawer by your children.

Maybe you will never feel the need to publish anything.

It’s not what you write or what others think about your writing that makes you a writer.

And it’s not the solitude and the patience and the quiet bravery that comes with it.

Rather, it’s writing like a bird flies or like the sun shines.

It’s writing when you’re happy and writing when you’re sad and writing when you’re somewhere in between.

It’s writing when you have all the evening to yourself

And writing when you have only a few minutes to spare.

It’s writing as a habit, writing as a way of being more of yourself than you would be if you were not writing.

You don’t even have to call yourself a writer.

What’s a writer after all?

It’s just a word that others call you.

When you are a writer like a carpenter is a carpenter or a sailor is a sailor or a beggar is a beggar,

When you write as a way of life,

That’s what makes you a writer.

4 thoughts on “What Makes a Writer a Writer

  1. Everyone can write (most everyone). A writer what is….. everyone by definition. Another thing is that is good/bad or in between or you try to make it your profession. Then you should call yourself “professional writer”.

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