Sunday, 22 January 2017

On Being A Writer - Part One

What makes a writer? I am afraid to say I cannot answer that question. I guess the answer is as individual as each of us.

However this is what has been posed to me as I read 'On being A Writer'. I'm currently working towards identifying as a writer.

Now I have already written one full length novel, tried to edit it (to no avail! It is beyond help), and moved on to write a few short stories. I have restarted the same writing course, again to no avail. But I am always writing.

I have started many blogs, but never followed them through. Yet here I am again. Right now, on my hard drive is over 2000 words across a variety of projects. The thing I need to do is write. When I think of my dream job, I am the novelist. My fantasy is to write stories, to tell stories. There is nothing in me more than this.

My fiance says I am a writer because I write. I challenged him to NaNoWriMo last year. He was full of ideas, yet not a word was written. He says that is because he isn't a writer. When I asked him what I put as occupation on our marriage certificate, he said writer. Even if I haven't sold a word. Because I am, apparently.

So for me to identify as a writer, I need to have been published, and to have sold my work.

One thing I have learnt as I explore what it means to be a writer, is that it takes all sorts to be a writer. I find this odd, as no one is reluctant to call themselves an engineer, or a sales assistant. I think writers hide from the world. No one really knows who is a writer, as we sit silently behind our computer screens typing out the next best seller (we hope). 

Being a writer is like being a mum. If you are a mum, you start meeting lots of other mums. But you soon learn that just because you share the same identity tag, that you aren't the same. Because we are all very different. I have met lots of wonderful mums - and writers, but the title is as loose as it can be.

Are you a writer? What comes to mind when you hear the word 'writer'? Please let me know.


  1. Hi Ingrid
    I call myself a writer, but I don't make my living from selling words.
    I've got a novel in progress, and two I've abandoned. Countless short stories written and lingering in files. Although I've had some minor success with competitions.
    I've had two articles published, I started a Writers Bureau course years ago which I never completed! Maybe I will one day.

    I've attempted and given up writing poetry.
    I've written monologues and had them performed on stage, and one of my short stories was made into a short film.

    It took me ages to call myself a writer. My take on it is this...if you write regularly, and you love it, you're a writer!

    Good post - thank you for sharing.

  2. I think we all feel like this when we start out on the journey to being published, Ingrid, but yes, I think you are a writer because you write. It's a good book, isn't it? I need to revisit it every so often and I think Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way is a good modernised alternative. All the best with your various writing projects - I work on too many at once but I like it that way until I need to focus on finishing one!


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