Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG- Resolving to See Things Differently This Year!

2012 was a great year for me! I wrote about it yesterday, but even just in terms of writing, but in my reminiscing, I stumbled on something of concern. As I watched the ball drop what was running through my head is how I still am so tentative about calling myself a writer.

Seriously, two novels and a collection of short stories done and I struggle to feel justified in describing myself as a writer. That can't be healthy, right?

And so, I pose a question: What makes someone a writer?

In The United States of Leland, my favorite movie, Don Cheadle plays a wanna-be writer. In a conversation with his girlfriend, he tells her "you're not a writer if no on is reading your s*%&." I'm not sure I agree with the Don in this case, but going by his metrics, I am a writer, right? Hundreds of people bought paperbacks or downloaded eBook versions of my books in 2012. Even if 1% actually read them, that is people reading my s*%&.

In reading other posts out here in the blogosphere, I am realizing that I am not the only one who fears owning this word.Why is that? What is the metric? If it isn't "people reading your s*%&, or even ONE person reading your writing, what makes us writers?


  1. I think you should have no worries about being considered a writer. You should be safe :)
    You're a writer because you've written, it's as simple as that. You're an author because you've been published. It doesn't matter how many people have read it, you've still written it :)

    Jamie Gibbs
    IWSG co-host
    Mithril Wisdom

  2. This is actually something, I'm very passionate about. I have to be honest, I hate it when I hear someone refuse to call themselves a writer, or even if they qualify by calling themselves "aspiring" writers. I think affirming your self-identity as a writer is a huge step on the path of success, and as long as you refuse to take it, you're just limiting yourself.

    Writers write. It's what we do. If you've done that—if you do that—then you're a writer. It's as simple as that. So, by the powers vested in me by the muse and the empty page, I hereby christen thee: Shauna Kelley, WRITER.

    Now go write something. ;)

    J.W. Alden

  3. You're not a writer - you're an AUTHOR!

  4. I follow Kristen Lamb. She hosts a group of writers called WANA, (we are not alone). She posted the other day about this very thing. Here's the link:
    Hint while reading, don't drink anything, spewing is possible!
    Happy New Year!!

  5. I think you're a writer if you write. Period. SO many people claim they "have an idea for a book." They "want to write." They're "gonna write someday."

    But they don't and they never will, because they aren't writers. They aren't driven by the need to put the words on paper. The act of striving to create something, of persisting in pounding it out, even when it's not fun anymore, even when you don't really feel like it--that's what makes you a writer. You write because you need to write.

    I think doing that is enough to claim the title.

  6. It took me a long time to say that I was an author. I had sold three books to small-press houses and still couldn't say it. Now, because of marketing reasons, I've gotten over it. When people ask what I do, I now tell them I'm an author.