One of the first questions that many people ask themselves (and others) when they begin their writing journey is, “Am I a writer?” (or any variation of the question). It is a simple question, and even simpler to answer, yet is chock full of hidden meaning and implied value that it can be a frightening question to ask.
First, what is a writer and are writers different than authors?
A person who has written something or who writes in a particular way.Oxford English Dictionary
One that writes.Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Well, there you have it. It’s official. Anyone and everyone who writes something is a writer. Admin assistants, food servers, managers, teachers, and the list goes on and on all the way down to stay-at-home individuals are writers of something. I am sure someone out there is a master “to-do” list writer.
Now, I know that is not exactly the answer people are looking for when they ask the question, but it is a simple answer for a simple question.
Blogging is writing, Tweeting is writing, even reviewing on Amazon or Goodreads is writing.
If you do any of those things, you are a writer!
If everyone is a writer, then are all writers authors?
Authors are, by definition, writers of “literary work” (Merriam-Webster) or “a writer of a book, article, or document” (Oxford). So, whether a writer is an author really depends on what the writer has done with their written work. If it has been published (internally or externally), then that person is also an author.
A person does not need to have followers, a platform, an agent, a publishing deal, a best seller, or anything else to call themselves a writer. It is an open entry field that generally accepts all who wish to claim the title.
When should you claim the title of writer? Anytime you want. For some, just saying they are a writer promotes the good-vibes required to muddle through and succeed. For others, they wait until they are an author before claiming to be a writer.
In the end, it is a process-defining word and describes one’s activities. Nothing more, nothing less. So, whether you write novels, poems, short stories, ad copy, business letters, letters to the editor, to-do lists, or shopping lists…you are a writer. Write On!