I Am a Writer

I was well into my second semester as a Creative Writing major when one of my professors made a comment that greatly altered my perspective. It came at the end of a story he told about his college days.

“That,” he said, “was when I first began to think of myself as a writer.”

As simple a statement as that was, it struck me in a profound way. Did I think of myself as a writer? I had been writing stories and poetry for years, and yet, whenever I described myself, I was a student, an employee, a friend – not a writer. Writing was something I did, not something I was.

That thought stayed with me, and gradually I began to come to view myself as a writer. To think as a writer, to live as a writer, to be a writer.

So what is the difference between a writer and someone who simply writes?

In essence, nothing. Anyone who writes is, in the broadest definition, a writer. However, once writing becomes so much a part of a person’s life that it becomes an inherent part of their identity, then the description ceases being “I am someone who writes” and becomes “I am a writer.”

For me, this happened when I began to see the world in terms of how it could be translated into words. I began to think of conversations and situations in life as potential material for stories, and I began to delve into my own thoughts, experiences, and feelings in terms of how those could be expressed in poetry.

Writing is no longer something I do, it is a part of who I am – I am a writer.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. ken anthony says:

    Great observation. I wish I were a writer. Not there yet, but I’ve made up my mind to post at least once a day. Check it out if you like…

    My blog is Think Forward

    I would enjoy both your comments and criticisms.

    Like

  2. To me, the title “writer” is very prestigious. It’s a dedication to writing as an art form, as a career, and as a way of life. Sacrificing most things for it? I’m not a writer yet.

    It’s different for everyone though… For some people, it’s when they first started writing. For others, when they first got published. I’ve talked with people who got published and they still say that they don’t feel like their a writer.

    Tis a fascinating subject :-P. I think the title “writer” changes from person to person, but “author” remains constant *nod nod*

    Like

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