Am I a writer?

This is a question I’m sure a lot of us ask ourselves. I don’t, because I’m pretty sure I’m not.

Last night I was perusing my Twitter account and found an interesting article linked by @richardink. His tweet pointed me to a blog entitled “Write to done” which was new to me but now resides in my bookmarks of good blogs to read when I have time. In an article entitled “Are you a Writer? Really?“, Mary Jaksch touches on the fear of proclaiming ones self a writer.

The article’s message bounced around in my head all day. Am I a writer because I’ve had a few short lived blogs? Am I a writer because I scribble random thoughts into a notebook? Do my incredibly spotty journal entries make me a writer? What about the handful of short stories (for the lack of a better term) or that unfinished zombie themed novella I started writing last year? Does any of this make me a writer?

My thoughts seem to echo hers, she actually has a book published and still can’t consider herself a writer. In my case, I know I’m writing something but I don’t feel like I write.

I’ve had this fantasy of being a writer for a very long time. Despite this rather ambitious dream, I can rarely bring myself to actually sit down and write. Blog posts? Easy. Author something of substance like a short story or novella? Incredibly hard. My brain insists that a writer actually has to author something “real” like a book or be employed at a magazine or newspaper. Surely my pitifully small lifetime word count can’t make me a writer… can it? According to Mary, it sure does.

So if you write something, anything, do what I’m going to do. Find a mirror, stare into it, say “I’m a writer” and see if, with enough repetition, you start to believe it.