Am I a Writer Yet? (When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?)

Am I a Writer Yet?
Am I a Writer Yet? | Source

"To be a serious writer requires discipline that is iron-fisted. It’s sitting down and doing it whether you think you have it in you or not. Everyday. Alone. Without interruption. Contrary to what most people think, there is no glamour to writing. In fact, it’s heartbreak most of the time."

~ Harper Lee ~


Writer: Definition defines the word writer as follows:

  1. a person engaged in writing books, articles,stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
  2. a clerk, scribe, or the like.

There are a few other minor definitions but I think the above two are the most appropriate and accepted forms of the term.

Anyone who is reasonably literate can write (especially with eBooks and self-publishing), but it takes much more than that to actually be entitled to call yourself a writer. I am not trying to be judgemental here but I have read books, stories and poetry by some people who refer to themselves as writers, and I think, "What! You must be joking!"

I spent 17 years employed as a Clerk with the Railways Department, but would not have considered writer as an adequate description of 90% of the work I was employed to do. My writing is not perfect as I have no real formal study or qualification in literature, however finally, I have reached a stage in life, and feel I am publishing written works of high enough quality and quantity to be confident of calling myself a writer.


“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

~ Stephen King ~

The Fight to Write

by John Hansen © 2016

What does writing mean to you?

Is it just for recreation?

Or is writing your career

And done for wealth creation?

For me, it is my passion,

Though success I can't yet brag.

Each day I look to be inspired,

Without it life's a drag.

Creative writing is my love,

Poetry turns me on,

Freelance writing earns some cash,

Short fiction is the bomb.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”

~ J.D. Salinger ~

With pen in hand I feel complete,

No matter where I go.

Without it I am at a loss,

I need to write to grow.

I started writing late in life,

Young adulthood just flew.

Work and play took up my time,

I didn't have a clue.

I wrote one poem or two a year,

Maybe to impress a certain girl,

Or some fiction just for fun.

My life was in a whirl.


Life went on but writing lacked,

I gave it little thought,

Other priorities took its place,

Like career, parties, and sport.

Then married life and children came,

No spare hours in a day.

I had to put my family first,

My need to write was put at bay.

As the years went by the urge stayed strong.

I never lost the drive.

One day I would have time to write,

For that day I would strive.

As I approach my 50th year,

Children now off my hands,

The time had come to live my dream,

So to write I took a stand.

I started writing poems online,

And joined the HubPage crew.

It took three years to become known,

But my confidence it grew.

Now I'm writing every day,

With freelance work as well.

I have one published eBook

But more I'd like to sell.

My website for creative writers
My website for creative writers | Source

Now I have a website,

Please listen to my pitch,

For poetry and fiction.

It fills a needed niche.

I've finally realised my goal

But I had to be a fighter,

To get paid for doing what I love

And call myself a writer.

So, are you a writer?
So, are you a writer? | Source

So, Are You a Writer?

I have been in a number of discussions recently on the question of how to determine if you can legitimately claim the title of writer. The most popular consensus seems to be that you are entitled to call yourself a writer if you get paid for what you write.

I can't say I totally agree with that because I personally know some very good writers who say they do it just for pleasure and have never been paid. Others have won poetry or fiction writing contests which is enough of an accolade to be able to label yourself a writer.

Anyway, this isn't a how to write article. It is just my take on how to decide whether or not you can, in fact, call yourself a writer when people ask you what your profession is, or what you do for a living. At first, I was uncomfortable doing this and answering the questions that followed e.g. "What do you write?" or "Do you get paid for it?"

If you want advice on how to write or answers to any questions you may have about the writing process, I recommend you check out Bill Holland's excellent Writer's Mailbag series of hubs.


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Comments 92 comments

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

If you believe the premise of the movie, "Anonymous", Shakespeare never got paid a dime. I rest my case. I believe you are a writer if you write. It doesn't become who you are when the money hits your bank account. It becomes who you are somewhere along the way when you read what you have created and put your name to it - because it is yours.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I totally agree, Kathleen, though I have never seen the movie "Anonymous." I never made a cent from it until two years ago and I don't base success on the amount of money I make.

shprd74 profile image

shprd74 3 months ago from Bangalore


You are a great writer.

Anyone can write, if one can start, restart and never have a big expectation.

I tell those who ask me, how to write. I say, just be truthful to your thoughts. The words will manifest you. Such is their power.

They ask how you get ideas, I say, 'be relaxed and observe the thoughts. Articulate them the way u get it and then the words will surprise you'.

I am myself suprised, that I am nearing a century soon, when infact I had never even dreamt I would write in my 42 yrs age.

If I look back, I just wanted to surprise myself by some rhythmic sentences, that led to a new hobby all together.

- hari

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hari, thank you for reading this and also for your kind comment. Even if one doesn't make writing their career, it is a wonderful hobby.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

John, that was very nice of you to give me a shout-out. Thank you for that.

In retrospect, I called myself a writer within six months of quitting my job and writing full-time, but honestly, when I introduced myself face-to-face to someone, I had a hard time saying I was a writer. It's only been the last couple years that I can say it in person and mean it.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for sharing that Bill, and you are most welcome for the shout-out. I can certainly relate to the difficulty of introducing yourself face-to-face as a writer. I had the same problem until very recently.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

John, I like your poetry and your prose. I believe you can call yourself a writer. I've been writing professionally since I was 18. That was back when a lot of us apprenticed, so I didn't start getting paid for it until I went to work full-time to support my children as a single Mom a few years later. Most of my writing consisted of commercials, at first, and then news writing and reporting. I've had to take a whole new approach to creative writing, and HP has been a good learning experience for me. I still can't claim that I get paid for writing, but I can claim a well-paid editing career. Does that count?

Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 3 months ago from Toronto, Canada

I agree with Kathleen's comment. Jodah, my Dear, a writer always writes for himself. I remember reading an article, a few days ago, in the newspaper about an aspiring writer, who said, "So what if they'll throw stones at me? So what if they'll decline me? The winds have a habit to play with the storms." Ha ha. Good one, eh.

To me, you are not only a great writer, but also a wonderful Poet. Your poetries have always been serene and uplifting. To tell you about my experience, I come from a complete legal background. I had a strong passion to get into MFA in the Creative English Writing Program, but I never got accepted as I had no previous publishing experience or Bachelors in Writing. Perhaps destiny had something else in store for me, and having said that, I got accepted in TESOL. Same thing, I will get to teach English and write books – ha ha.

So, my Dear Friend, let’s always continue making efforts in an effortless way. You know what I mean here (smile). Thanks for sharing your experiences. Love you!

shprd74 profile image

shprd74 3 months ago from Bangalore


I think poets are made by being connected to their own innermost emotions. As we are all same in the core, everything that's true to you somewhere someone will do get connected to it. I tried to write about the same, in these 2 poems. I wish you to have a look to it. Thanks.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 3 months ago from the USA

I didn't start calling myself a writer until I had written things and published them in a "public" way - so that anyone could read them. When I was just writing to and for myself, friends, and family, it felt more like journaling. When you put yourself "out there," something shifts. My two cents.

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 3 months ago

John, anyone can "write", but not everyone is a "writer." Being a writer is more than applying words to paper; a true writer invokes our senses, evokes emotions, paints a picture in our minds. You do those things, and you do them well.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 months ago from Northern California, USA

I didn't officially start calling myself a writer until one day I attended a neighborhood BBQ and people kept introducing me like this, "This is Marlene, she's a writer!" That was the day I realized that if other people are calling me a writer, then maybe it is time that I start calling myself a writer, too.

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

This is a good discussion here. I regard you as a great writer which skill is depicted in all your articles and poems here.

I started writing two years after my retirement as I had a longing and passion for it. I started with putting comments on news articles. Then some tiny articles or essays on other sites. Then started writing for paid articles. But, they were paying only less than $2 for an article of 500 words. So, after one year I left and joined Hubpages and also created my own website on Google Blogger site. I am still not proficient but hope to pick up soon.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

It is fulfilling to be able to make money writing. Glad you have also met your goal. Keep at it!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 months ago from london

Might have been ok for Harper Lee to say that there is no glamour, perhaps that's how she felt. I'm not sure Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie, Dickens, Mark Twain or VS Naipaul would have felt this way.

Anyway, the spiritual writers do not lose their joy, and people like Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey, travelled around the world writing and speaking. They fed of the inspiration from people.

Writing comes to me so naturally, that I'm forced to, even when I do not want to write, and I've never taken a course on writing.

Many of the great writers were non-conformist. Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson created a lot of their work. The good writer is a story-teller. He/she takes you on a journey, using the vibrancy, drive and continuity or flow of the river...removing all the impediments in the way.

They paint a picture of the turbulence, the choppy waters; the attached flowers on the banks being swept away, and one sees the floating log as it meanders, somewhat lost, from side to side.

The song and dance of the overhead nightingale becomes meaningful, and the fisherman struggling with his line against the rushing current is a joy to behold. The great writer hits us with the unexpected, soothes the Spirit, leaves us asking for more, and yes, they are generally a joy to meet. Hope all this helps.

It is good though, to see you pointing out, when so many of us are taking up this ancient craft, that not all writing is awesome, and that not all would succeed. Much Love for highlighting this craft and its associated difficulties for many.

clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 3 months ago from Nibiru

i am a scribbler

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

In my experience, if you wait until your successful, at least from a monetary standpoint, most everybody will never be able to affix the moniker writer.

Even some of the most successful writers to ever live never had success in life.

I am a writer because I say so.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

When writing my bio. on my HP profile, I found it difficult to say that I was a writer, but a writer I am. I have a sister who brags to people that she has a sister who is a writer, and she's my number one fan. She doesn't have a computer so I print all my pieces and take them to her. She reads them and invariably will say, " Where and when did you learn to write? " So in her mind I am the writer in the family, and that's good enough for me. And BTW you are a writer and a darn good one John.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Right now I am in an office (not usual for me, but I could not resist the air conditioning in our heatwave ;) I am writing a legal memoranda. It will be signed by the attorney who engaged me. It may free a man from jail. I reckon that does not make me a writer. For some reason the writing for the life or death of a man does not make one a writer. Interesting work here John and a wonderful pause for thought.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes, MizB, you can certainly call yourself a writer. There are so many facets to it and different types of writing that I couldn't mention them here. How can someone be an editor without the ability to write themselves and a news writer and reporter? So, yes that counts and your creative writing is great too.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are so right, Surabhi, a writer does have to write for him or herself first and foremost. If I don't like what I have written or feel proud of it then it is not worth letting anyone else read it. I like that quote from the aspiring writer you read in the newspaper. I have had so many rejections from publishers, but the two acceptances I have received made up for all of them. You just have to persevere. Thank you for your kind words about my writing and for sharing your own personal experience. I do believe in karma, and what is meant to be will be. Love you too.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hari, I agree that poets are connected to their own innermost emotions. I will certainly read your two poems on this subject.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Carolyn, You said it well. When you finally decide to publish your work for the public to read, and people do enjoy reading what you write.. Then you can call yourself a writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you, Linda, so do you. If your writing doesn't evoke feelings or emotion, educates, or paints a picture for your readers you have failed.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Marlene, I think if other people see you as a writer than you can safely call yourself one.

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 3 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

John you can call yourself a writer when you've had something published, self-published, unpaid or millionaire status (like Bernard Cornwell).

I'd had material published in various special interest periodicals (railway history, railway modelling) before I embarked on the self-publishing trail.

Then of course you can count three-hundred-odd pages here that I've been paid for through having ads on my pages.

It all adds up to 'being a writer', and if you've got books to your name it adds up to 'being an author'. So far copies of my six books published here in England are in store in the British Library vaults near Wetherby, West Yorkshire, five are available in Kindle format through Amazon. My heroes might be yours, John.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

It is good to hear from another writer who started late in life, Venkat. We have to start small and practice the art, always striving but never reaching perfection. The first place I made any money from writing was here at HubPages and I was a member for four years before I got my first payout. Now I make a lot more from freelance work. Not enough to live on but a good extra supplement. Keep at it.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes, Flourish, making money from your writing is fulfilling but there is still a gap you need to fill with writing for yourself and from the heart.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You make some good points, Manatita. I agree many great writers are non-conformists and that individuality and uniqueness is what makes their writing great. For successful writers it can be a glamorous occupation, but it is not all wine and roses for every writer. Some, like you, find it easy, others have to work hard to come up with their next piece.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Where would we be without our "scribblers" Clive. I used to call myself a doodler because I drew pictures on any blank sheet of paper put in front of I write.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Larry, you make some good points. I agree with your are a writer. Though if a doctor, for instance, said "I am a doctor because I say so" I may be a little worried.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ruby, I think if you have fans who brag about your writing, even just one, then you are a writer. I am also a fan of yours, and I know of many others too. Thanks for your kind comment.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Eric, if my life or death was at stake I would definitely want a writer as skilfull as you to write a legal memoranda in my defence. Apart from that, just based on your wonderful Sunday Sermon' are one "hell" of a writer (hmm...strange choice of words there).

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Alan, thanks for the great comment. You are most certainly a writer and author and an accomplished one at that. I am a Bernard Cornwell fan too. I especially loved his novel "Stonehenge". Yes, we may in fact have some of the same heroes.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 months ago from london

Yes. Ha ha. People talk about muses a lot here and you have also mentioned the struggles and some of your methods, when you get dry periods. What is the name of the writer whose work inspired you a lot not so long ago?

Yes, yes ...I do agree that it is a struggle for many. It can relate to one's goal. So, for example, some writers want to make a decent living; others may seek the fame of it, yet many others I know of, simply wish to serve.. . to lift up or elevate their fellow humans.

We are all sorts here, but yes, practicality is good too. I mean we have to pay the bills, no? My only muse is a strong sense of intuition, an inner drive, which I constantly feel coming from a Higher Source. Nice Hub, once again.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 months ago from Western NC

Love this thought-provoking hub. It's a question I myself struggle with. I love writing. Am working on two ebooks (novels). Have a blog. Publish articles here (hopefully now more than in the last couple of years when I was in grad school and moving and getting a new job). But yes, I'm full time employed in education. But well, I aspire to do this full time. One day soon. One day! :)

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

John, there should certainly be some standard a person must reach for calling themselves a writer. I shy away from money determining this though. I'd rather look at the quality of the writing and the productivity of the person. One or two articles, stories, poems per year does not, in my estimation, make one a writer because it doesn't express any passion. Maybe those three elements are involved: Quality, Productivity and Passion. . Good thoughts. Thanks for bringing the discussion to us.

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

For all I wrote at the beginning of these comments, I have to admit, I REALLY finally felt like a writer when I heard my Mother say to her friend, "This is my daughter, the writer." Priceless.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you cclitgirl. I am glad you enjoyed this hub and found it thought provoking. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, "I love writing." That is the backbone of making it as a writer. You can never succeed 100% unless you love what you are doing.I hope you can manage to write more hubs now, and I wish you every success in your desire to become a full-time writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Chris, thanks for commenting. I agree there needs to be some standard set, and it needs to be a mix of those three attributes you mentioned "Quality, Productivity, and Passion." Another thing, what is a writer without readers? If you just write for yourself and own pleasure, fair enough, but unless other people read, comment and critique your work how will you ever know if your writing is any good? Money, doesn't matter, but having others enjoy reading what you write, does.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes, Kathleen, being acknowledged as a writer by others really is the important thing.

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

I suppose a writer is such when others deem it. I've sold my work before, both commercial and creative, and have made thousands in the process. Does this make me a writer? You tell me, John. I often see those claiming to be writers, but I disagree in some cases. But a good writer.....that's another story.

Enjoyed the comments!

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

Of course, there's always that box one has to tick that says Freelance Writer Income on the Income Tax form. Does that mean anything? :)

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for adding to the valuable comments, Randy. Well, if enough people see your work worthy of paying for I think you can say you are a successful writer. If the TAX office says you are worth taking money from as a Freelance Writer you also must be worthy :)

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 months ago from Shelton

also Jodah..a writer can be what others view you as.. and of course I consider you a writer of good poetry.. an able writer you will always be to me.. good share my friend

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading, commenting and your generous words, Frank.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

You are certainly a writer John. I love the Richard Gere quote. So very true.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jackie, as are you. Yes, gotta live Richard Gere and that quote.

emon steve mario 3 months ago

Am happy to read through this write-up, you just enlighten me about writing.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Jodah, You thought of a brilliant hub! I enjoy writing and is a great pass time for me.

johnmariow profile image

johnmariow 3 months ago from Connecticut

I have to agree that this is a brilliant hub. For me personally, I write for fun and profit. And I love writing fiction.

kaiyan717 profile image

kaiyan717 3 months ago from West Virginia

Before, a person was a writer when another person or people perceived a value in their writings to make a profit. I think the standard is still the same. Though if you think about it, a doctor could be a failure at his job, but people would not question him being a doctor. I didn't call myself a writer until it became my profession. I always wrote, but I was only a writer when it paid my bills consistently.

I am a writer at the moment, five years from now I could be something else. With hundreds of books, millions of views and six figures in income, will I stop being one then? At the end of the day, if you write, you are a writer, which you may or may not be good at. We will all have many labels in our lives and writer is just another one of them.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading Emon. I am glad this was of some help.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Devika, yes writing helps to fill a lot of gaps in our lives. Now, I cannot imagine life without it.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the generous comment, John. Glad you found this hub worthwhile. There are a lot of reasons to write. I will have to read some more of your fiction.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Kaiyan717, I appreciate that thoughtful comment. You make some good points. Just because you are paid for doing something doesn't necessarily mean you are good at it, or that the standard is better than before when you did it for nothing. I guess it is something you feel your heart you know if you are worthy of the title.. "Writer".

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

John, yes, readers are an excellent addition to the definition of a writer. I'm thinking right now about a scene in the film, "What About Bob." Bob (Bill Murray), who is afraid of everything, is tied to the mast of a sailboat and is crying out, "I'm sailing, I'm sailing." Yes, but is he a sailor? Some people write, but are they writers? Big difference, I think and you are helping us to see that more clearly.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for revisiting the discussion, Chris. That scene from "What About Bob" is a perfect example.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

Hi John,

So glad to see you post here! Whenever I read your hubs about writing poetry or read your poetry, there is no doubt how passionate you are about writing poetry. It seems you were born to write poetry.

I believe when the words we write stir some kind of emotion in others' hearts or minds and touch them deeply one way or another, then that is the key to writing. I love Carb Divas comment and agree.

Keep writing writer!

Peace and blessings always

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Theresa, Thank you for reading this and your great comment. I agree with you about my being born to write poetry. I find it so much easier to rite in verse than in prose. I appreciate your kind words fellow "writer."

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 months ago from San Diego California

What's in a name? If you feel like a writer then you are a writer, even if you are your only reader. Scribes and clerks don't count, you have to be a creator of worlds to call yourself a real writer.

My writing story pretty much echoes your own. I only dabbled for years, until hub pages came along and I became semi-serious. Your line "without it life's a drag" is something I can completely identify with. This is what brings me joy in life. Wonderful hub!

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks, Mel. I really appreciate you adding to this discussion. Glad HubPages sparked your writing to life as well, and you can identify with life being a drag without writing.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting article that is also thought provoking, Jodah. I actually agree with Mel's statement. I think that it's valid to call ourselves a writer if we write and if we feel like a writer. Identifying ourselves as a good or a bad writer is another matter, however!

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Those are good points you make, Alicia. Glad you found this thought-provoking. Thanks for commenting.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 months ago

Like others, I found myself writing later in life and wishing I had started earlier. It is a passion for most of us. I enjoyed your views and your poem, very much what I have experienced.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Dianna, thank you for your confirmation of my views and it's good to hear you have experienced much the same.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 months ago from The Caribbean

It would be interesting to know the various reasons people begin to write during their later years. Thanks for sharing your journey, and if I have any authority, I declare you a true writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

yes, MsDora, it would be interesting to know the reasons others begin to write late in life. One reason is they need to fill a void after kids have left home or retired, but there must be many more. Thank you for reading and for declaring me a true writer. Much appreciated.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John. I see a lot of people have weighed in here. If your words have touched someone deeply then you have earned the title writer. Your followers certainly know you are a writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.

Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 2 months ago from Florida I a writer? Well, I have to admit I ask myself this question often. I feel I'm not where I want to be in the career side of it, but I am enjoying the free-spirited side of it right now.

If you write and people read it, whether you get paid or not, I would say you are a writer. So, in that way, I guess I am a writer. Do I feel comfortable in saying that? No. However, it's just because of those very conversations you mentioned you've had with others. There is always someone ready to tear you down and make you feel it doesn't count if money is not involved. I left that way of thinking a while ago.

Today, I still strive. I really know that I'm not perfect at writing either. Even though I run my poems and articles through grammar checks and tweak them to death, there are still mistakes after I finally publish and read them back. That's why sometimes I like the sheer fun of not doing that and writing something on a wing and a prayer that it doesn't present a lot of mistakes and that the reader will just enjoy it for my words written. I think that is a genuine writer. Like a true artist who puts paint to canvas, and it captivates some and some just don't get it, so is a writer with his words and vision that he puts on paper. That's how I feel. Am I wrong? I don't know, and frankly; I don't care. lol...

Sorry so late getting here. I have been really busy trying to get ready for this next school year coming very soon. Nice article!

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

It's never too late, Missy. You epressed your opinion about being a writer very well. I think you can safely call yourself one, and I am sure many others would agree with me. Thanks for reading this. Cheers.

AndreaRelli1111 profile image

AndreaRelli1111 2 months ago from Orlando, Florida

I enjoy reading this article very much since I can totally relate. I have asked myself several times if I am a really a writer. I have been published but have yet to get paid for my work. I have guest blogged and been published in a magazine before. I love writing and are very passionate about it I just feel so self-conscious at times since I have yet to land a paying job as a writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Andrea, thank you for reading this article. I am glad you can relate. I think you can confidently call yourself a writer if you have had your work published and you feel in your heart a passion for writing. Being paid just makes you a professional.

Chriswillman90 profile image

Chriswillman90 2 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

"What is a writer?" That's such a tricky question because anyone, like you described, can technically call themselves a writer. Reading this gave me a lot to think about because there are things I have as a writer that others lack yet there are writers like yourself whom I can never become.

Your writing has a lot of passion and art behind it that intrigues creatives and it's a gift. This was a pleasure to read and fantastic food for thought for all the writers among us.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the kind comment Chris. There are many different types of writers of which you are one you have found a popular niche. If this gave you food for thought it succeeded. Cheers.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Very well done. You can definitely call yourself a writer, John, in view of the quality of work that you do.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you, Deb. s can you. One of the best nature writers and wonderful poet yourself.

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 months ago from Central Florida

Now that I'm no longer a full-time freelance writer, I call myself a part-time writer (with my first profession being a project accountant). Even at that people ask me what I write. For some reason that always stumps me. When I wrote for a living, it could be anything from a landing page to product descriptions to print copy. Then there's the all-over-the-place variety I post on HP.

I think the key to a writer calling him/herself a writer is whether or not people read their work. If you write for clients, it's safe to say your work is read or the client(s) wouldn't keep you on board. If you write for pleasure or passion and have a following, you're a writer. A writer's fan base grows because they entertain or inform. A true writer makes a difference in their readers' lives.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for that interesting comment, Shauna. I think your last sentence sums it up well. "A true writer makes a difference in their reader's lives."

lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 2 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


Really liked the poem here and I think it reflects what a lot of us go through.

For me it's been a strange experience since I published my book, I've loved the fact that it's in print and that people can buy it. I've enjoyed promoting it even at my regular work, but that's where it got strange!

The folks at work were stunned that I'd found the time to write a whole book! I explained how I found it and they were even more stunned, then a couple read the book and they really like it! They've even told me there have to be follow ups and made the comment that 'it's great knowing the writer'

I don't think of myself as a writer, {I thought I would) but more of a 'Bus driver' who likes to write!

I think part of it is what people call you! Then again that means to some you'll be a 'writer' but to others maybe not.

For me, either way I'm happy with what they call me, as long as it's not late for food!



Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis Rix 2 months ago from UK

I studied creative writing as part of a BA (Hons) in Literature. I love writing and have written for a widely circulated community newsletter. I published a collection of anecdotes on Kindle. But I wouldn't describe myself as a writer until I had a book in print that had generated some income. Little chance of that happening! So - my hobby is writing.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Lawrence, thank you for sharing your experience since you published your book. It is great that your colleagues loved your book and want sequels. I can understand why you consider yourself "a bus driver who likes to write" however. It is natural to call ourselves by the profession that earns us the most money. I am retired (carer) so my writing is the only thing that makes me money..therefore I call myself a writer.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Glenis. I can understand where you are coming from. I have only published one eBook of poetry and nothing in print, however, I have ghostwritten a number of books for others to publish so, although not in my name, I call myself a writer.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 8 weeks ago from Germany

Brilliant poem! I am hesitant to call myself a writer. When my friends introduced me to others, I was proud everytime they said I am a writer. I don't know if I am already good enough to be one. Thanks for this thought provoking hub. Happy weekend!

Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for the kind comment, Thelma. I think if you feel in your heart that you are a writer, and if other people introduce you as one, then you are. Have a great weekend.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 8 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.


After six years on hub pages, making more mistakes than I care to count, I now proudly call myself a writer. And I'm still a beginner. But I have so many brilliant teachers here in our community I know that as I continue to follow their lead and practice my skills I'll improve and grow.

You, John, are one of my greatest teachers. Thank you...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Audrey, you humble me by saying I am one of your greatest teachers. You are a wonderful writer in your own right and all of your hubs are delightfully and skillfully written. I still make plenty of mistakes, especially in grammar, but practice makes perfect. Thanks again.

Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 5 weeks ago from The Desert

Hi, John, I just happened to see this hub... I sort of needed to see it right now, I think.

This issue came up for me just yesterday, when an old friend asked me if I was working now (after being at home with my kids for years). I really wanted to tell her, "yes, I am finally a writer!" Instead I just said "no, but I write for a few publications and I get paid for some of my work". Which is true, I guess, since writing doesn't feel like "work", really. It is too enjoyable for that. So when can I call myself a writer? Hopefully in a few years, if I manage to publish as much quality work as you or Bill have. I feel that you do have every right to call yourself a writer. Until I get to that point, I call myself a translator, people seem to accept this more as a "real job".

Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Emese, I am glad you found this hub and that it is relevant to you. I think you can call yourself a writer already, but translator does sound more like w real Jon that people will accept.

SAQIB6608 profile image

SAQIB6608 5 days ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

Poetry turns me On.

Beautiful line. Value of writing is better known to the writer himself. Writing is addictive too. Good job Jodah with a beautifil premise and a colourful poem on different forms of writing.



Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 days ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you Saqib, and I appreciate that fine comment. I agree with your sentiments about writing.

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