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Can I Call Myself a Writer Simply Because I Write?

Updated on June 24, 2011

When Can I Call Myself a Writer?

What does it take before someone who writes is recognised as a writer? Is it that first published article, where an agreed amount of money changes hands or does it start long before that? While it is fair to say, most people can write this does not mean, most people are writers. In much the same way as most people can sing yet I know without doubt I, for one, and I know a few others, cannot be called a singer.

This is the sheer simplicity of writing and language. If someone strings some words together to make a sentence then this is the beginning of a written piece. But what does it take for the author of that piece to suddenly become a writer?


The Simplicity of Writing

According to the Encarta Dictionary of UK English, the literal definition of a writer could be any of the following three examples.

1. somebody who writes books or articles professionally

2. the person who wrote a specific text or document

3. somebody who can write, who writes well, or who enjoys writing

This is wonderful news for me because I can tick all three boxes! I do write articles professionally, I am the person who wrote this specific document and I am somebody who enjoys writing.

Author Versus Writer

If we accept the above then the definition for being a writer is clear, but what is it about that written piece that makes someone an author as opposed to a writer? The answer is similar to what makes a writer. Again according to the Encarta Dictionary an author is somebody who writes a book or other text such as a literary work or a report -- almost a combination of the first two definitions of a writer.

While the distinctions between the two may not appear instantly apparent, in the real world an author is more commonly accepted as the successful writer who has published and receives an income from their works.

From my perspective the moment I began calling myself a writer, my thinking changed and what followed were opportunities to not only showcase my writing but to be paid for my efforts. There are many different sources for a writer to publish. If you are serious about writing then get busy researching. The more you learn the more chances of your writing standing out from the rest.


Benny the Writer

In answer to Benny’s original question, ‘When can you truly, unabashedly call yourself a writer?’ I’d suggest settling for option 3. As long as you enjoy writing I’d say you could call yourself a writer. Hopefully this is the reason there are currently 185,000 people, otherwise known as Hubbers on this site alone, writing to their hearts’ content.

If you want to join the ranks of HubPages and change your status from writer to Hubber you can share your writings with the world by simply signing up here. It's fun and it's free and who knows where it may lead. There are also some great tips for improving your writing and becoming published. Best of all HubPages is a community of like minded people, that is 'Writers'.

Copyright © Karen Wilton 2010



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    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks KateWest. I have had a quick read of a couple of your Hubs. You are definitely a writer!

    • KateWest profile image

      KateWest 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA


    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      The important thing for all of us as writers is to appreciate our strengths and acknowledge our shortcomings. What we do with that information is perhaps, the difference between writing and being a good writer.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Your hubs on writing are important. I'm far from where I want to be as a writer, but I am learning a little along the way. I've made huge writing mistakes, probably have not corrected them all, but reading bad writing is tedious at best, so I want to continuing working toward excellence in my writing. Thanks for the input!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Storytellersrus what a wonderful slant on life you have! You are a writer, I have read your work. Because you have written and published on the internet that also makes you a published author. I am starting to think the difference is how much we write. If I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is write, does that make me a writer?

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Travel man, there is no reason why we can't be both writer and author. If you are writing articles, or hubs, with 3,000 words then you are the author of those written works.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I have been calling myself a writer since I was five!!! Is this ego? Nope, it is my slant on life. Authors can publish articles or books, I suppose, but being a writer cannot be denied; it is what one is. Thanks for the reminder!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      The thin line separating an author and a writer is often ignored. Maybe I can be both. I started as a school paper writer (writing news, poems, other articles).Authors publish books. I don't have published books for now. I'm still a freelance writer; just developing topics or hubs with just limited words, like 3,000 words +++ here on HubPages.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Neverletitgo, you are a writer. With practice in the use of the English language by way of writing and reading you will improve over time and then be the best writer! Many wishes for you and your writing.

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thank you Karanda, you are totally encouraging me to believe that I am writer. You are really good writer and I am more than happy to be one of your followers

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Eiddwen you are most definitely a writer, I know, I've read your hubs. Thank you for your lovely comments, it is always a thrill to hear from you and have you provide feedback.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      A great hub that covered a good few questions that I have had floating around but hadn't asked.

      Here on HP we are as Karanda says 'writers' and to add to that 'a close knit community' and like minded individuals who become friends and look out for each other.

      I am proud to be a member of this community of friends and writers.

      Thank you so much for sharing this hub .

      Take care and God Bless you Karanda.

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Aw thanks Karanda. I'm always happy to hear people say that they like my writing. Like you, I just have to write.

      Love your name BTW.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Travelespresso, isn't that just the most wonderful feeling when you have the confidence to call yourself a writer and no-one disagrees? You are so right in saying it means more than any payment. Love your writings, by the way, I've read a few and they all read beautifully.

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Lovely hub Karanda. I'd been writing for a very long time before I called myself a writer. I felt so very excited when I completed an immigration form where, for the first time, I wrote "writer" in the job section. When I went through immigration, the officer on the desk commented and asked me what I wrote! I was so thrilled. That was a break through - more so than receiving payment for my first, and subsequent articles.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you Prasetio for your kind words and joining my community. While it may not always be enough to be passionate about something and be successful, the more you write the closer you will be to achieving your goals with writing. I notice that English is not your first language yet here you are on Hubpages writing hubs and being a 'writer'. That says it all in my mind.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Perfect Cally, wish I'd written that.

    • cally2 profile image

      Paul Callaghan 7 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

      I write therefore I am.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Deep in my heart I just want to say to you that you are really a writer. I thought a writer is a person who give the idea and it's very informative and useful for others. I know there are various definitions about writer. But if we want to stay in the right line to express our feeling in writing, we can call us a writer. I believe you have done this very well. I am glad to join your community.

      Blessing and hugs,

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for your comment and the follow colonial82, I've returned the favour in support of your efforts. Best of luck to you in the challenge. My thinking is that if I can write 30 hubs in a month I am going to be a better writer than when I began.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the two cents b.Malin. I agree. If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is writing, surely that gives you credence to be called a writer. Not many writers are going to earn a living from their work but getting a little pocket money for doing what you love has to count for something.

    • colonial82 profile image

      colonial82 7 years ago from Ohio

      Good luck on your 30 in 30 challenge. This really interesting hub being writer, keep up the good work. I added you to follow in support of our common 30 in 30 challenge :)

      Have a great day :)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      A lot of great comments! I'll add my two cents. When just one person reads my work and says "Hey that's good....or I can relate...or I enjoyed that piece".... It's like breathing to me...I've got to do it. I've got to write... Then in my "book" you and I are writers! The money is important....but some writers are not always given the dues they deserve. But if that doesn't stop them...THEY are writers!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Exactly my point onegoodwoman. Short but sweet and you said it all and that makes you a writer!

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Good piece.

      Starving artists are still artists.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      M.T.Dreamer you may think of yourself as a writer in your spare time but anyone who has read your hubs will be thinking yes, you are a writer. Who knows, one day it may become your full time job.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      Good to see you on my hub DjBryle and acknowledging your own writer's status. From one writer to another, thanks for the vote of confidence.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      American Romance 43 hubs on politics and personal belief, looks to me that you are one interesting writer! Thanks for commenting.

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 7 years ago from United States

      I've often thought about this; wondering what label I fall under. As of right now, I'd definitely call myself a writer because I write for hubpages, so I have something I can show people. I have a degree in writing, so there is evidence to suggest I have studied the craft. And I was paid for it once (technically I won a contest). However I don't consider myself an author because I haven't published my book yet (even though I've written it). But there is also a difference of profession versus passion. For example, if someone were to ask me what I do for a living, I wouldn't say writer, because I don't write for my job. But if they asked me what I do in my spare time, I'm going to say writer.

    • DjBryle profile image

      DjBryle 7 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Hey, this hub makes me realize that somehow I can call myself a writer... and it makes me feel good! Thanks for brightening up my day! Voted up! =)

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      If one writes for their own pleasure or for pay then they are a writer, One hopes othere will be moved, or find the writings of interest, I personaly write to vent. I write a lot on politics and personal beliefs. Am I a writer? probably not but I still write!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      How wonderful, "I am a writer, poof, I am." It's almost magical. Never heard of Staples but I wish it were in my world. Thanks for the fantastic comment, verifying without doubt that YOU are a writer Vern, but we all knew that anyway.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      There is a philosophical system, I think that is what you might call it, that "believes" when you speak a word, it brings whatever that word stands for into existence. The extreme example of this is in Genesis. God said, let there be light, and ......

      Another example, is when we grow up and people call us a wide variety of names, whether it be beautiful, wonderful, attractive, handsome, clever, fun, loving, thoughtful, generous or stupid, ugly, fat, defiant, manipulative, uncaring, selfish....

      So saying outloud, "I am a writer, poof, I am. And YOU are a writer!

      I don't know if you have Staples in your world, but Staples has a button that when you push it, the voice says, "That was easy!!"

      Perhaps it is not that easy to be a writer, but maybe it is!!

      Thanks for the great hub and the reminders and the definitions! Some of us have doubts, so definitions can be validating!!


    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      In complete agreement with you Uninvited Writer, and I've read your hubs, they are all good reading to me. Someone told me if you wake up and all you can think about is writing then that is what defines the writer.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      To me, if you have to write, you are a writer. I can't go a day without writing something. So yes, I call myself a writer.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 7 years ago from Australia

      You know what Dags? I've read your hubs, you are definitely a writer. Best of luck in your endeavours.

    • dags the drover profile image

      dags the drover 7 years ago from still lost in Western Australia

      Karanda.... thank you. This is great. You know what? I... am a writer! So there you go.. you've helped me already. Thanks. Cheers Dags the Drover


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