I write but at what point can I call myself a writer?

To write is usually to share. To share is to open up. To open up is to be vulnerable. Vulnerability can be to hurt. To hurt is to feel. To feel is to experience. To experience is to breathe. To breathe is to live. To live is to think. To think is to write….

As writers, we think, live, breathe and share our own words, characters & stories. We dream them and experience them. Trying to finesse the art of being able to take what we imagine in our heads, tussling and wrestling with the words to be able to create characters, stories and sometimes happy endings.

To have those rare and special moments when our minds run away and our fingers can catch up with us on the keyboard. Those special little nuggets of gold that come along that give us our inspiration and our insanity. Something invoked by an image, smell, meeting, article or thought that we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of. You can get so caught up amongst it, that the outside world does not exist.  When we are able to find the magic and bring to life those mystical characters out of our heads and out onto a page, giving the little critters a voice so that they can speak to other people than just us.

But sometimes life gets in the way and we get caught living between the real world and the one that we want to bring to life through words. That place, filled with all the unspoken stuff that we are yet to just get out.  When you need to grab your notebook, napkin, nearest receipt or piece of paper to be able to jot down the few whimsical words that run through your mind.

Other times it is not just life getting in the way but our own minds. Unable to get passed those big boulders that we mentally place before us. Writers’ block comes and takes over. We sit, bound by our own shackles. Trapped in our heads by our thoughts and unable to find the right words to express the parallel lives that we live in. At that point of frustration, where you remember those times when words just rushed to you. Keep faith and know that those moments will very soon return. A fresh set of eyes can see many different wonders.

We sit, we write and we share. For some, it is to be able to create something that captures an audience so they must keep turning to the next page. So drawn in that they are unable to put it down until that last word. For most of us, it is just for the joy of writing. A few of us are lucky enough to have a story that burns so strong within us, that it just has to be shared.

At what point through the writing can we call ourselves writers?

I remember doing a Creative Writing course years ago that said to start calling yourself a writer. Their instructions were something like “Start thinking like a writer, acting like a writer and calling yourself one” but I’m not sure it is that easy. People ask me what I do and I don’t think  I have the confidence yet to reply back with “I’m a writer”. For the simple reason that I don’t have what I call the right answers to reply, when asked the next inevitable question “What have you written?” – “Umm well, a few blog posts, some things for Writer’s Group”. For me, that does not cut the mustard.

Suffering from my own writers block, I decided to google it:

Wikipedia defines a writer as “A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, news articles, screenplays, essays, theme park scripts, greeting cards, children’s books or published texts. Skilled writers are able to use language to express ideas and their work contributes significantly to the cultural content of a society.”

The Oxford Dictionary gave many definitions with the most simple being “A person who has written a particular text” to the more literal “A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation

But I was not happy with either result (either for myself or the blog), so the writers block continued. There is nothing worse than looking at a flashing cursor. Then my “eureka moment” came (after a coffee, walk and set of fresh eyes).

I will be a writer when I convince myself I’m good enough to call myself one.


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