According to the dictionary, a writer is one who writes. Yet most writers don't consider themselves "real" writers unless they have been published. Is it because the literary world is responsible for dubbing a person a "writer"? Or is it because writers lay that definition on themselves? I think it is the latter.

I remember the first time I ever heard "a writer is one who writes". To test the theory, I started calling myself a writer. Of course, the first question people asked was, "Where have you been published?" or "How many books have you written?" My own mother said, "Until you've had something published, don't call yourself a writer." You will probably run into the same thing, but let me give you a clue:

Friends and family will never look upon you as a writer, no matter what you do.

If you were to ask them how many shoes a cobbler would have to make to be a shoe cobbler, they would answer "one". Or if you asked how many ships a company had to make to be known as a ship builder, they would say "one". So why is it that you can write a journal, memoirs, poetry, etc., and are not recognized as a writer in their eyes? Perhaps it is because you don't see yourself as a writer in your own eyes. Doesn't your writing hold value for you? If it does, you are indeed a writer.

Journaling
is described as a written account of your daily life. Many writers develop their style and form while writing a journal. Any kind of writing will develop you in some way.

A memoir, on the other hand, is a written account of your life. You will find that most documentaries are founded on either journals or memoirs. Although yours may never make it to print (and most of us would not want it to), that doesn't make your writing any less important.

In my younger years, my mother was always scribbling out poetry. The verses were the kind that you could never find in a card shop – you know the kind – the ones that really say what is in your heart. She is 90 years old now and she still says she is not a writer, although one of her poems was just published on a greeting card. Isn't that just too sad? Sad that she cannot see her own potential and take pride in what she does.

So the next time someone asks what you do in life, don't answer, "I work at Walmart," or "I'm a technician." If you write and you love writing, say with pride, "I'm a writer." And when they ask what you write, don't be embarrassed to say, "I develop my style and form with journaling." (Style = the way you express yourself. Form = what you like to write about.)

Say it with pride and conviction, and you will notice a marked air of respect, and perhaps that will be because you respected yourself first.