When Can I Call Myself A Writer?

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Yes, I do. Because I’m a Writer. 🙂

Love that saying, but in all seriousness, When Can I Call Myself A Writer?”

I was asked this question recently by a friend who’s been writing solidly for three years and is completely committed to her goal of getting published, only it hasn’t happened yet. She sets aside a certain number of hours each day just to write and to keep progressing in her craft.

Well, her goal is to find an agent for one of the books she’s written, but whether taking that route, or to be self-published, or submitting to a publisher, her drive and ambition is still the same. She’s committed to what she does. She’s not writing just when she feels like it, but every day. She’s focused and determined on being a writer.

So, when can she call herself a writer when she doesn’t have a published book?

I drew my answer into a story for her, because yes, that’s what we writers do best, we weave a wonderful tale. Here it is, and imagine this is you.

You bump into an old friend or family member on the street, one you haven’t seen in a while. Wow, it’s great to catch up. You ask what she’s been up to, and listen intently, and then yep, she asks the same of you. You think back over the past three years of slogging away at your laptop, at the countless books you’ve written. Hmm, should you say it?

Raising a brow, you go for it. “Ah, I’m a writer.”

Her eyes light up. “Oh, so you have a book out?”

“No, but I’m trying.”

“But you said you’re a writer.”

“I am.”

She frowns. “And you don’t have a book out?”

You stare her down (because I like that part of the tale.) “No, but I’m still a writer.”

Why are you still a writer?

Because you’re committed to writing, setting aside time every day, and you’re in this for the long-haul. Being a writer isn’t like other professions. My sister trained for three years at university to be a nurse. Once she got her degree, she was a nurse.

Writers don’t have a degree to wave in the air. Sure, it’d be nice to have a book as that final piece of evidence, but in fact, you’re a writer if you write each and every day, sticking to it to get your first book published. Simply put, a writer is dedicated to the career path they’ve chosen.

Oh, but then, once you’re there, and you’re published by the route you’ve chosen. Yay! Jump around and grin like crazy. You’re an Author. And you can tell that friend or family member just where to buy your book. 🙂

Okay, so calming down again. Do you agree? Can she call herself a writer? Perhaps this tale rings true for you? Leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you all.

Right, so now it’s time to announce the winner of the offer I made last week. For those who left a comment asking for a critique, they had their name put into a draw. What could they win? Yours truly will be their second set of eyes to go over the first four pages (or 1500 words thereabouts) of their novel. That’s the first four pages. Not four pages from the middle of the book, but the first four pages. So, for this fabulous critique, the winner chosen by random.org is:

*** Heather Jensen ***

Hey, congratulations, Heather. Please email me the first four pages of your novel as a word document attachment so I can insert “review bubbles” for personalized editing advice. My email address is located under the “Contact tab” on my website, or of course it’s joannewadsworth007@gmail.com

I’ll be making this offer again in the near future. I’m all for writers supporting writers, and you guys rock with the way you support me on my website.

Have a wonderful week. Catch ya all later.

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16 thoughts on “When Can I Call Myself A Writer?

  1. Wow! Thank you so much Joanne! And I agree – if you are putting in the work then you are definitely a writer, even without anything published.

  2. It’s funny how answers come from out of the blue. Maybe I can explain. I am a writer. Boy that feels so good to say.

    The past few days the voice within was saying quite the opposite. I don’t know if anyone else argues w ones self. Maybe it is my obstacles to overcome.

    Anyway. To make sense of my early morning or is it late night. At any rate, I was having trouble sleeping. Preoccupied with thoughts and the need to take my writing to a higher level. Some times even baby step can be painful.

    So, to relax and get my thoughts off me I found myself checking out my email. As soon as I opened up yours the title jumped out at me. A MUST READ. So I must say thank you for your words. IT gave me the little nudge I needed to put me right back on tract.

    GOOD DAY On Jan 21, 2013 2:14 AM, “Joanne Wadsworth” wrote:

    > ** > Joanne Wadsworth * Writer * Romance posted: ” Yes, I do. Because I’m a > Writer. 🙂 Love that saying, but in all seriousness, “When Can I Call > Myself A Writer?” I was asked this question recently by a friend who’s been > writing solidly for three years and is completely committed to her goal of > getti”

    1. Wow. I love that I was able to give you the nudge you needed.

      Writing is definitely a solitary career. We’re all alone as we write, and until we meet other writers, no one quite understands the heartache as we work hard and wait for that first “yes.”

      Family and friends can be supportive, but they don’t quite get it. Only another writer truly can. They’re in the journey. They’re experiencing what you are. It’s not easy to write a book and get it published. It takes hard work and dedication, but it’s a passion we can’t deny.

      I understand exactly what you’re saying. Smile, because you’re a writer. You’re a writer. You’re a writer!

  3. Yes, I’ve ‘been a writer,’ for 30+ years, yet the first question people still ask is, ‘but are you published?’ I agree with you, ‘being published’ does not make you a writer – WRITING does! Now I’ve just self-published my first romantic suspense novel, but acquaintances now ask, ‘but did a company publish you, or did you just do it yourself?’ (as if that doesn’t count as much). Urgh. :+)

    1. Yeah, they just don’t understand. I totally get it. So many people believe being published by a publisher makes you a writer. What? I know loads of writers who’ve self-published and they are writers. I know loads of writers who have both a publisher and self-publish. We have options, but fundamentally, if we’re dedicated to our craft, and we’re putting in the hard work, then we’re writers.

      Congratulations on your recent release. I love romantic suspense. It’s one of the genres I write, and I simply adore it.

  4. If you are a writer if you write. If you publish then you become a ”published” writer. Somone that spends time every day working on a book can’t be anything but a writer.

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