I Don’t Know if I’m a Writer

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But I’m not worried about it.

Being a writer is an idea for others to think or not think. Frankly I don’t care what you call me.

I do have a few things to say, however, and I want to say them as well as I can, simply because I want my ideas to be heard. I want them to live in the world. Saying them badly is a kind of stillbirth I want to avoid if I can.

If that happens, it’s my fault, because I haven’t written well enough to be listened to.

So, writing well enough to be read is my objective, not writing well enough to be able to call myself a writer. That’s of no consequence at all to me.

There is a lot of discussion here of the criteria of the appellation of the true writer. I say, call yourself a writer if that motivates you to write, and then carry on writing.

Writing, the activity of putting words on the page is the main thing, not what you call yourself. Let others figure that out.

But, if it pushes you to write, then what the hell, call yourself a writer. However, if it inhibits your writing, call yourself something else, or nothing at all.

Labels can be inhibiting. Especially the moniker “writer.” That’s a heavy load to carry. All the Greats are sitting on your shoulders, reminding you of your inferior status. It’s hard to continue under such pressure.

My advice is to dispense with the identity of “writer” and get on with what you’re naturally interested in. Forget about the figure you cut in the world and pursue your passions. Let other people decide what to call you.

You are too complex to put into any one box. You may have a lot of interests that have nothing to do with writing. Writing may be one thing you do, a thing you love and do well, but it’s not the one thing that defines you.

It’s neither here nor there, this question. Only if you write and love to do so — and need to call yourself a writer — is it of any importance, this question.

I prefer to let that question go unanswered. I don’t care to assert an answer to it, for or against it.

I just don’t care what others think about it and I don’t need it as a moniker.

But I do insist upon saying things I think are important to talk about. If I didn’t have anything to say, I wouldn’t write.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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