As part of my current personal project to get myself out into the world more, I have joined a writing group. We meet, and write, and talk. We talk about what we write, why we write, when we write and how we write. We talk about what inspires our writing, what blocks our writing, what informs our writing.
A question came up at our last meeting; WHAT DEFINES A WRITER?
If you tell someone you are a writer, they will usually respond with, Do I know your work?
Does being published define one as a writer? I have nothing published at present, and yet I would call myself a writer. I have written my entire life. There are reams of stories and ideas for stories, stacks of journals, word documents of screenplay pages and more journaling that define me as a writer. And yet, it seems presumptuous of me to call myself a writer without a hard-bound book to back it up. Maybe this question belongs in the school of IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME, meaning call yourself a writer (or artist or actress or billionaire) and you are one step further along the the road of becoming that which you desire to be.
The number one dictionary definition of WRITER is:
If your writing is not also your occupation, as mentioned in the definition above, are you not a writer? Does the acknowledgement of a publishing company make one a writer-writer rather than just a writer?
I’m interested to hear others’ ideas and experiences surrounding this question.
PS: I do not consider my Blog as “writing”. What I consider the real writing is in the reams of paper both physical and digital that is not public. Yet.