(Updated in 2020)
Bloggers and Writers
Lately I’ve noticed a number of bloggers who draw a line between themselves and the word writer. I already knew a number of writers who do that as well. That word writer seems to be one that can take years to claim.
When I investigate why this is so, the answers are intangible. The idea, writer, seems to fall into a category with ideas like success. Every person is struggling to find a meaning that makes sense. It’s not about money. It’s not about volume of work. It’s about meeting a self-defined goal of becoming a writer.
Becoming a writer — that resonates with every writer I know.
People ask me how I knew I was, how I know I am, a writer.
Let’s talk about writers I know.
Are You a Writer? 7 Traits that Writers Have in Common
Naturally, if the idea of a writer is self-defined, I can’t tell you when you will feel that you can call yourself a writer. However, a few things seem to be true about all writers — from every first grader I taught how to construct a sentence to every great writer I’ve ever researched.
- A writer is a paradox of ego and self-doubt. We need both to keep on task and to keep in control. Knowing oneself is the only way to invest in the work and still be able to let go when it’s time to stand back and revise it.
- Writers often start out feeling like an imposter. The message we’re told is that the writing is strong and compelling, or well on its way, but we think the messenger could be mistaken.
- Writers get lost if they compare themselves and their work to other writers. The same is true if they write for approval.
- Even the most inexperienced writer knows when the writing is wonderful. The problem is that we have to learn how to tell when the writing is not good and how to have the courage to fix it.
- Writer’s block is fear, or exhaustion, or both. It can be managed if we know its source.
- Every writer is in a self-actualizing process. Writing is an apprenticeship. A writer is always becoming a writer.
- Nothing in life can prepare you to be a writer, except everything in your life.
I would say the best advice is to paraphrase Troy Worman. “Don’t wait for permission to be a writer.”
Every day I write, I learn something about myself and other people.
How do I know I’m a writer?
Try as I might to avoid it, I simply must write.
–ME “Liz” Strauss