When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress

When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby gonzo2802 » 23 Apr 2010, 11:41

Just bored and curious.

I'm sure most of us here think of ourselves as writers, because we've recognized that writing is something we enjoy doing (even when it drives us insane). I've realized though, I only currently refer to myself as a "writer" when I'm around my writing friends, online, etc.

When non-writing people ask me what I do, I never rattle off "I'm a writer". I'll say I like to write ... or I'm working on drafting a novel ... but I never officially label myself a writer.

I think, for me, before I feel comfortable referring to myself as one to the world at-large, I need to have something published first. Because, let's face it, when you tell the average person that you're a writer they are going to ask you about the books you "have out".

I'm wondering how everyone else feels. Do you already refer to yourself as a "writer" to anyone and everyone you know? If not, when do you think you'll feel comfortable earning the title ... when you land an agent? A publishing deal?

Again, there aren't any right or wrong answers. Just curious to see how everyone feels personally.
User avatar
gonzo2802
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 08 Mar 2010, 15:33

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby dios4vida » 23 Apr 2010, 12:07

I call myself a writer, and I've found that not a whole lot of people put much stock into it. They either get excited and ask if you have anything published or just shrug you off as an idealist or someone wishing for something they'll never achieve (the whole "yeah, I've always wanted to write a book, too" routine).

In my mind, I can't call myself an 'author' or a 'novelist' until I get something published. I'm not entirely sure on the distinction, but that's my personal input.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
User avatar
dios4vida
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: 22 Feb 2010, 14:08
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Holly » 23 Apr 2010, 14:03

I think of myself as a human being and could give a hoot if I'm a "writer."

My goal: just write a good story.
User avatar
Holly
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 21 Dec 2009, 19:42
Location: Gettysburg, PA

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Ciara » 23 Apr 2010, 15:06

I would never call myself a writer to any "real life" people. I think the non-writing public only think you're a writer if you're published. I think they don't realise how much goes into the pre-publication stages.
Ciara
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 17 Apr 2010, 04:48

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Robin » 23 Apr 2010, 15:12

I called myself a writer when asked what I did at a formal luncheon recently and felt invigorated, like I was coming out of the closet or something (not that I'm gay). Its like sharing your most important secret with the world.

After I got home, I was fired up and wrote 5K words!!!

Hi, my name is Robin and I am a writer, baby!!!
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/
User avatar
Robin
 
Posts: 315
Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 18:09
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby bronwyn1 » 23 Apr 2010, 15:32

Robin, I totally know how you feel with that "coming out of the writerly closet" feeling.

Whenever I tell people that I write and am working on a novel, working on query letters, etc, I always feel like they think I'm super pretentious because they think that "real authors" are somehow "above" them or only pretentious people work on novels or something. My age might also have something to do with it (like, who do you think you are, eighteen year old trying to get published?)
bronwyn1
 
Posts: 82
Joined: 07 Mar 2010, 16:38

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby OtherLisa » 23 Apr 2010, 17:24

Well, it's either "writer" or "unemployed former film/television studio bureaucrat," so I'm going to go with "writer," for brevity's sake...
User avatar
OtherLisa
 
Posts: 28
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 07:19
Location: The Beach, So. Cal.

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Bryan Russell/Ink » 24 Apr 2010, 04:41

OtherLisa wrote:Well, it's either "writer" or "unemployed former film/television studio bureaucrat," so I'm going to go with "writer," for brevity's sake...


Wait, wait... doesn't everyone love unemployed former film/television studio bureaucrats?
The Alchemy of Writing at www.alchemyofwriting.blogspot.com
User avatar
Bryan Russell/Ink
Moderator
 
Posts: 430
Joined: 20 Dec 2009, 20:44

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby polymath » 24 Apr 2010, 07:21

I'm inclined to think writers write, be it creatively, technically, academically, socially, or whatever. When one is able to string otherwise abstract glyphs into a meaningful and shareable narrative, it's writing and it's a writer who does it.

For most writers, the need and ability emerges in kindergarten or soon thereafter. Whenever I see or hear someone who's written or said "aspiring writer," I die a little. Aspiring to be able to communicate in writing? I have a three-year-old nephew who's an aspiring writer. Just hand him a crayon and he goes at it.

Author isn't much different in meaning from writer, dennotatively. Poet or another language equivalent was the term for a creative writer regardless of genre prior to the Fourteenth century. Because of English language words' tendency toward second syllable stress, writing and speaking it tends to be in iambic rhythm, a short syllable followed by a long syllable, as in the word wri t-e-r. Trochee is the opposite of iambus, pronouncing a stressed--long--syllable followed by an unstressed--short--syllable, as in D-i-d it, and has a more rapid and rolling gait than iambus. All prose is poetry when it's perceived as such.

The thread topic question is mostly in iambus, a line of heptameter with an additional, changeup stressed syllable, fifteen syllables in short-unstressed, long-stressed sequence. When S-h-o-u-l-d you F-e-e-l Com f-o-r ta b-l-e Call i-n-g Your s-e-l-f a Wri t-e-r. The particle "a" affects the rhythm, following the stressed "self" with a stressed syllable. To be frank, only for illustrative purposes, I feel the impact of the question is blunted by the particle. //When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself WRITER?//

In my view of the cosmos, we creative writers are poets. I've been a writer since nursery school, poet not long thereafter, and published-in-class author as soon in time. My calling card with my phone number and public e-mail address reads, Starving Poet, Artisan, Woodcrafter. When someone asks me what I do for a living, and it's not the most polite question to ask, I answer, Work. An emotionally interesting and interested interlocutor would ask, What are your passions? Then I answer, Reading, appreciating beauty, creating art. If the conversation goes on from there, something more meaningful might develop.
Spread the love of written word.
User avatar
polymath
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 09:22
Location: Babel

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby KellyWittmann » 24 Apr 2010, 11:06

Anyone who loves writing should feel perfectly free to refer to himself as a "writer." Now, "author," that's a whole different story (pun intended)...
KellyWittmann
 
Posts: 28
Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 14:28

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby gonzo2802 » 25 Apr 2010, 09:42

Robin, I love the "coming out of the closet" analogy!
User avatar
gonzo2802
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 08 Mar 2010, 15:33

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Robin » 25 Apr 2010, 09:49

Gonzo- thanks, but I am being totally honest. Your turn, lets hear it:

Hello, I'm (state your name), and I am a writer!!
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/
User avatar
Robin
 
Posts: 315
Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 18:09
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby Quill » 25 Apr 2010, 10:00

I consider myself a writer but I don't call myself a writer. I tell some people that I write. Most don't need to know. Here at the forums I'm home, so to speak, so yeah, I'm a writer! If I get published and go on to scribble full time I'll probably call myself a writer.

There is value right now in keeping it quiet, letting it incubate, grow. Keeping the pressure low. Keeping the need to explain the hugely long time-frame to a minimum. My creative process requires solitude and privacy. There'll be plenty of time to call me a writer after I'm dead. lol
User avatar
Quill
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: 17 Mar 2010, 18:20
Location: Arizona

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby gonzo2802 » 25 Apr 2010, 10:00

Hello, I'm Tracy ... and I'm a writer!

Now, if only I could say it OUT LOUD. lol
User avatar
gonzo2802
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 08 Mar 2010, 15:33

Re: When Should You Feel Comfortable Calling Yourself a WRITER?

Postby gonzo2802 » 25 Apr 2010, 10:01

Man, now I just read Quil's response and decided I want to let it incubate ... after I already came out. Dern it!
User avatar
gonzo2802
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 08 Mar 2010, 15:33

Next

Return to All Things Writing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests