Uncategorized Writing & Blogging

What Makes a Writer?

I have a confession to make: I get jealous when some people call themselves writers. Don’t worry; I know that it’s stupid.

What makes a writer? - Kate the (Almost) Great

Writing has been my thing for as long as I can remember. I think I wrote my first short story when I was six – although I unfortunately don’t remember what it was about – and have been writing constantly since then. I wrote short projects for fun throughout middle and high school, completed my first novel my senior year, and then went on to major in English in college. That novel is now published and I have 3 other writing projects at various stages.

All of that makes me a writer. But it’s not the only thing that makes me a writer: I also write this blog, write some articles for magazines for websites, and blog posts for other companies. And while my background in writing might be a little unusual, the current writing that I do isn’t by a long shot. So why do I feel little twinges of frustration when other people call themselves writers?

The short version? Probably because I spent a large part of my life where being a writer was unusual. I didn’t know many people, if anyone, who called themselves writers, so when someone does now, my automatic reaction is to think, No they’re not. They’re not a real writer.

That reaction is a bad one and I think it goes back to the competitive nature of our world today. Someone can be a writer without it influencing if I am. I don’t have the same reaction when someone says that they grew up in Maine, went to Vanderbilt, or that they’re under 5’3″, so it’s probably time for me to quit having this reaction to the word “writer.”

I’ve been trying to change how I think about what makes a writer since joining the blogging world. The first time I read a blog post and someone call themselves a writer because they blogged – and I didn’t consider them to be a writer – I was shocked and a little angry. How can they claim that title? They doesn’t have the writing experience and background that I do!

Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not a writer. They write at least several blog posts a week, each with hundreds of words, and maybe have for years. Maybe they haven’t written a book, but maybe they write more a day than I do. And, at the end of the day, is it really my job to police how someone labels themselves? No, it isn’t, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

After all, the basic definition of “writer” is someone who writes. Maybe we can debate what qualifies as a published writer and if a blog counts, but at the end of the day, it isn’t my place to judge if someone else’s self-imposed title is accurate or not.

What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear them!
Meet Victoria from Poverty Luxe!
hello! my names victoria, and i blog over at poverty luxe. i live in the suburbs of los angeles with my husband, daughter, two cats AND a new baby coming in july in a very, very small apartment. I’m a big fan of cats, cheese, and disneyland, and i blog over at poverty luxe. where i talk all about our adventures as we learn to love living the broke life. there youll find money saving tips that wont make you miserable, recipes that are healthy, easy, cheap AND gluten free, craft tutorials that wont break the bank, as well as snippets of our daily life. be sure to stop by and say hello, i promise it will be fun!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Stephanie Rita

    i feel the same way about photography sometimes. now that cameras are so easy to get your hands on, it feels like everyone is becoming a photographer. but i know that jealousy is not a good thing, and that i was once in their shoes, so i guess all we can do is encourage and keep doing what we do.

    April 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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