When is a Writer a Writer


book review 2Simple question really, but when we talk about someone being a writer, what do we really mean.

This was a point raised as a post in suzie81’s Blog, a blog which I would recommend all writers to visit.

Within the a post a discussion was generated along the lines of whether a “hobbyist” writer or photographer or whatever could rally claim to be classified by such a name.

It was an excellent article, and one which along the lines of this post I commented upon, so let me get the ball rolling here by stating my own position on this topic

I think it depends on whether you describe yourself as writer, a blogger, or a whatever by trade, profession, or inclination.

I am not a professional writer as I have no professional qualifications in such a field, I am not a writer by trade, as I work within the retail sector, but does that mean I am not a writer?  i have typed this post, I enjoy writing short stories and articles, and I have recently started this blog where my views are expressed freely, so am I not a writer and a blogger, the same as countless other individuals around me?

I wonder at times whether we all get too hung up about such distinctions, and whether a natural desire to express all our inner thoughts and words are at times suppressed through a fear of professional inadequacy. Who is to say what it means to be a writer, and who’s to say who qualifies or who is deserving of such a title or role?

We all try and define what is good writing, but what do we mean by both “good” and “writing”, let alone “good writing style”. If writing is defined as either the act of writing,, or as the activity or occupation of composing text for publication, then, in the interests of authenticity, how far back should we go? Charles Dickens maybe, Chaucer,or Shakespeare maybe, or how about even further? I am not too sure what publishing avenues were open to our ancient cave dwelling ancestors, but if their drawing was the equivalent of our writing, i.e an attempt to relay a message in a communicable format, then maybe we should recognise their efforts, and follow their lead?

Why not send out a message to all potential writers and bloggers that, if you have something to say that is legal, understandable, of some potentially interest to other parties, and not dismissive of anyone else’s lifestyle, faith, ethnic background or sexuality, then simply go for it? As individuals we are constantly urged to express ourselves, so why sideline the ” amateur writer” or any other “artist”, just because he or she doesn’t fit into some kind of academic or professional frame?

Might it be narcissistic pride I wonder, or at times simple insecurity that feeds and perpetuates such values? There are enough writers in the world that cannot express themselves freely due to intimidation or censorship, see the writers in need page  or visit Pen international, so why not try to support all those who believe that they have something to say..

Just a few thoughts, that’s all, but who or what would you classify as a writer, and how far would you allow them top have their say?

 

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Categories: Just a thought

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4 replies

  1. I like to write, I studied communications, and writing is part of my job, but I don’t like to call myself a writer. I run 5Ks and practice a few times weekly, but I don’t call myself a runner. I make cookies, cakes, brownies and other delicious treats a few times a month, but I’m not a baker. I don’t know…I don’t like to label myself. I think that I let others decide.

    If other people like my writing, and want to read it, and will even pay to read it, then I guess I am a writer. But I’m not sure I’ve reached that point yet. And I’m also not sure I should let others decide what I am and am not.

    This is a tough one.

    Like

    • unfortunately we seem to be increasingly tagged and labelled by other in all walks of life, maybe it is to do with the modern pace of life that so many of us buy into.

      My view of writing is as simple as it is brief. If there are thoughts within you that you want to express externally, and you believe in this e thoughts, then go for it. There are no real rules regarding what constitutes good or bad writing ,and writing itself is just one of many forms of external expression which have been practiced for thousands of years

      You alone have your thoughts, you alone know how such thoughts should be expressed in whatever form you chose. The real choice is whether or not to stick your head above the parapet. It’s easy to stay in the shelter of the trenches, but others never see you. It’s the same with writing and I would say you might as well announce your writing and jump above the parapet. Sure, some writers will slate you, but others will say well done.

      So have fun and keep writing; you have a good writing style by the way. keep it going

      Like

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