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
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
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