6.01.2015

On Being a "Writer"

YOU ARE A WRITER
 Can I let you in on a little secret? I don't feel like a "writer." I know that most people assume that if you're a blogger, you are also a writer, or that you blog because you love writing, but I'm not sure I fit into that category.

When Emily posted about different writing styles and processes, I found it hard to determine which category I fit in because I simply don't feel like a writer. Nothing really seemed to adequately describe me. Similar to Emily, I don't really approach blog posts with any kind of structure in mind. I usually just write from the heart and hope that it comes out right. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail, but it seems to work for me. I have been told my voice comes through in my writing which sometimes makes me giggle because it's not something I consciously pay attention to but it's definitely something I desire of my writing. But overall, my awareness about my process is lacking. Aren't writers people who labor over these types of things?

I have always enjoyed writing but I wouldn't quite say I have ever loved it like I hear most bloggers say. So where does this leave me? Does this mean my voice isn't still important? No. Does it mean people don't care what I have to say? Surely not if you're reading this. Does it mean I'm not a writer just because I don't feel like one? Probably not considering I'm writing this post, right?

So why do I refuse to see myself as a writer? Honestly, I'm not totally sure. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist and I don't think writing is something you can perfect, therefore I'm scared to label myself in that way. Or maybe it's because I don't appreciate my own voice and writing enough to comprehend that someone else might like it. It might also be because I feel like my identity is invested in so many other things, things I am good at like running and school, that I couldn't possibly add something I don't feel super confident about doing. That might create some sort of expectation I think I have to live up to. Potentially, I just rather leave the title of "writer" to those who really love it, who crave it and live for it, instead of using it for myself. Who knows.

What I do know is that I'm not alone. I know some of us who really are the most amazing writers still struggle with thinking of ourselves as fitting that description. And what a shame. YOU ARE A WRITER. You are a writer whether you write eloquently or whether you write like me, with a lack of intention at times and surely a lack of process. You are a writer because you write. Whether it's in a journal, on a blog, or just a paper for class. You're a writer because your voice matters too much not to call yourself one.

What encourages you to call yourself a writer and what discourages you from doing so?
 
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37 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I say this ALL the time! I am a financial analyst. I struggled with writing all growing up. I like numbers. What I love is that it's ONE more way to give ALL glory to God! It's Him in me :)

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  2. I'm absolutely a writer. I've always been a writer. I was word-obsessed as a kid and was using words like "predicament" and "fortuitous" by the time I was 6. I was pretty introverted during my youth so I wrote a lot to get my words out. Even as I became more extroverted I've defaulted to writing to sort everything out. In fact, my writing oozes in to every part of my life. In my career I'm a technical writer. I freelance as a copywriter and content creator. I also blog. Words are my blood, basically.

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  3. Amen sister. Amen! I love how you bring up the point that we are writers because our voices matter - so true!

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  4. This is so good! Sometimes I feel like I've written a piece that earns me the title, while other times I think I'm just meandering through thoughts and recording them. Unsure. By the way, have you read Jeff Goins' "You Are A Writer"? It's a great book!

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  5. This totally resonates with me. I don't think of myself as a writer at all, more of a family journaler! :)

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  6. I totally get that! I'm glad you can relate

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  7. YES! I totally feel that way at times as well. Also, NO I haven't! I'm definitely going to look in to that, thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. YES! I think even if our writing is messy and filled with errors, if it's from your heart, it matters.

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  9. That's really cool that you feel so strong in your identity as a writer. I like to think the title is better left in the hands of people like you :) haha

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  10. I'm with you! haha but I agree completely!

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  11. Thanks Cassie! It's my life. I don't know where I'd be without my words. If I can't take pen to paper (and yes, I'm still old-school like that) I'd be lost.

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  12. This resonates with me. I've been employed as a "writer" for years, even though it's of a technical nature. I've always struggled creatively and never felt comfortable calling myself a writer- it doesn't feel authentic. I think you have a way with words and a beautiful writing style; I'd definitely call you a writer!

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  13. I always feel funny when I tell people I'm a blogger but I'm not a writer. I write words on paper or on this blog but I never do it in such a way that I think of myself as a writer. I always over think it I guess. What I'm saying is I understand. I am a writer but I never label myself that way.

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  14. THIS!! all the yes. Whenever I tell people I blog their immediate response is "oh so you're a writer" but I'm always ALWAYS hesitant and say "ERM... Well no... Not really". I need to write this down somewhere what you said, "your voice matters too much"

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  15. Your posts always speak to me on every level. Love this!

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  16. I don't consider myself a "writer" either. Number 1, I failed grammar in school. I couldn't begin to tell you when and where I should use the correct punctuation. I started my blog to have a place to get out my feelings about our infertility journey and amazingly enough, people started following me and reading it, lol.

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  17. I can relate to this....I think it's semantics with me. We label ourselves as "bloggers" bc that's what we write...blogs. I love to write but not short stories or poetry. I write about random things...sharing my personal stories and thing I have learned. Can I create a new label? How about Sharer? I'm a sharer.

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  18. YES! I totally agree with you. Thanks for your encouragement :) I would say the same about you!

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  19. You're too sweet. Thanks Christine.

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  20. HAHAHA RIGHT?! This is my life, though.

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  21. I'm with you! It's funny because according to the definition, bloggers like you and I are writers!

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  22. YES! I had a similar experience hahaha I am still confused why people like reading my blog ;)

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  23. Yes! I'm a sharer too! hahahaha

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  24. I think people in general just don't like to say I am a _____. It seems too confining, as if saying that means we're claiming to be the best at that thing. But if you do something, you can claim it! I'm a writer too! Although it's definitely easier for me to claim being an editor most days. I do love writing :)

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  25. I think you're right. I struggle with labels!

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  26. Labels. Bleh. I prefer verbs. I Write. I Blog. I Study. I Sing. The things we do make up part of who we are and you can't put a label on that.

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  27. I've been feeling pretty blah and somewhat like a writing fraud lately because I haven't written super "heart-felt" posts as often - something I feel I did a lot of in the beginning of my blogging. But then I remember that there is a for sure wave to ride in this blogging world and that my current wave is writing about things currently happening, not to mention - I'm spending time outside of my blog to work on my novel- which I feel is most definitely writing.


    I wrote a post awhile back reminding myself and others that when you write, you are a writer. Labels are crap - you are who you feel you are. You are who you say you are. :)

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  28. I can see both sides of the issue. Sometimes a label is prideful or normalizing and other times it can definitely be unhelpful!

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  29. I can definitely relate to how you're feeling. I think since I have been feeling "blah" too I have been trying to write more from the heart because I always love the response I get even if the page views aren't as high. It's so cool to know that we aren't alone in these feelings and have the opportunity to encourage each other. I'm looking forward to that novel you speak of!

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  30. i similarly don't feel like i'm a "writer" because i blog. but i guess we are all publishing ourselves and put our stuff out there into the world, whether or not a million or zero people read it. i love having my blog/writing as a way to put myself out there.

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  31. I couldn't agree more. I think labels are just hard in general, but especially hard because I think when most people hear "blogger" they often equate that with "writer"

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  32. Yeah...I don't say I'm a writer because I don't get paid for it. I feel like if I said I was a writer, people would ask "oh, what have you written? would I know it?" and I'd have to explain that no, I write for me, it's just a little blog, etc, and they'd judge away. Probably just me, but that's where my head goes.

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  33. Hahaha I can totally relate...

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  34. I'm an accountant who likes to write :-p haha Best of both worlds? I was always better at math!

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  35. Hahah I was always better at math too!

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  36. I'm with you! I've never, ever (even after I began blogging) considered myself a "writer." An artist, maybe. A creative, sure. But a writer? Not me. I'm not sure why, but it especially comes into play for me at work. We have folks that do our PR and communications and write wonderfully. I always think "I couldn't do that. I'm not a writer like they are." But perhaps its more to do with the subject matter, and less to do with the ability? Hmm. Food for thought. Interesting post!

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  37. Yeah, I think you make a great point. Does one have to have good or interesting content to be a writer and vice versa? Interesting to think about...

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