If Writing is Your Passion, Own It

When someone asks you,

"What do you do?" What will you tell them?  Will you stammer your way to saying, "Nothing important? I have a day job,"?  I should hope not.  When you are a writer, the question has nothing to do with money.  Is this what you do with your time when you have nothing better to do?  Then you are a writer.   Do you read other people's work and start to compose a response that will take up more then a paragraph? Then you are a writer.  Do you welcome people to slash and shred your work and call you all kinds of names because they don't favor your style? Then you are a writer.  

If you are ashamed of what you write or where you are in the writing process then you will find it harder and harder to pick up your pen. Do you really feel like you have to justify where you are to anyone else or answer to anyone else for where your money comes from?  Does it really matter what you do with your time?  If you follow your dream all of the good times will happen of their own accord.  As you live your dream your happiness will shame those who asked the initial question to watch you squirm. 

If writing is what you want to do and what you are driven to do then you are a writer. If you care to explain it to anyone else say you are a writer but not an author yet. Most people will understand that much and leave you alone on the subject. If they don't then they are fools mocking a dream they don't have.

Just because you needn't answer to the world doesn't mean that it isn't worth your time to ask yourself why you write. If you don't like your answer change it. If your answer drives you to write a paper or article on the subject then you are a writer. Most writers could come up with a list of how you know you are a writer worthy of Jeff Foxworthy's talents but few outside our group would understand. Writing is a solitary pleasure that few understand and only the slightly masochistic can keep at it but in the end it becomes a secret well of life that you will always be able to dip into.

If you want to call yourself a writer then write and write and write until ...ok, I admit it, until you are dead. How much of your work is actually published won’t matter to you after a while. The fact that some of it will be published is inevitable, heck if you are reading this you are probably already published in one sense now.

So long as you are embarrassed, you will feel the need to put modifiers in front of what you do. If you are a writer then the old axiom is true, "Writers write" end of story. If writing is what you do then eventually you will feel the urge to share your craft. That is just human nature.

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Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Writers write is true. It's also true that the term 'author' would most appropriately apply to one who has written a published work. Of course, the word 'published' is a fairly loose term these days. If a commercial publisher has not published the work, I would say that a piece was technically not published.

That said, most authors even rarely make enough money to make a full-time living at it. Back when I was editor of FrightNet Online Magazine, and edited the horror anthology "Dark Whispers," as Ivan S. Graves, I had the pleasure of working with bestselling authors like Peter Straub, and prolific writers like T.M. Wright. I also had the pleasure of working with Michael Laimo, a novelist with about 6 or 7 novels published. Straub and Wright obviously make a living at it. Michael Laimo, even with 6 or 7 published novels, still must work a day job.

It's a craft. It usually remains a craft. It's great if it can become a profession. But it's hard work.

Incidentally, I was referring to fiction authors above. In the trades, non-fiction tends to typically offer more opportunities to get published, and tends to pay considerably more.

There is, of course, always the term 'aspring author' which works just fine and dandy as well.

Just a few of my two cents. :)


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

Lol thank you is one of the hardest words to say in this passion but I mean it. I tried to express it before and hmm it came out kinda garbled.


ralwus 6 years ago

I prefer wordsmith, as I am also handy with so many other things in my life. But my closest friends know that I am a poet.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

Wordsmith is a good title for what writers with talent do but for the sake of trying to reach out the olive branch for those honestly trying I didn't constrict the message of this one any tighter then absolutely necessary. Thanks for stopping by Ralwus


Gabriel Santiago 6 years ago

I found this piece to be inspiring and insightful. I am glad you wrote it. Thank's! God bless you.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

I am glad to hear it Gabriel. Keep writing and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

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