Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Definition of a writer

I've lost count of the number of times I've read about people wondering if they can call themselves a writer ...

It seems different people have different definitions.

Here are some of the most common:

  • if you write, you are a writer
  • you're only a writer if you're published
  • you're only a writer if you've earned money from it
  • sod other people's definitions - it's how you FEEL ...
An American woman in my writers' group has come up with a 5th definition.

Apparently, according to US law, if you have received a minimum of 3 rejections, you are allowed to call youself a writer and use related expenses on your tax return.

Whoever said there's no such thing as a positive rejection?

16 comments:

Marie said...

I've definitely had more than 3 rejections!

Seriously though, I feel like a writer and I am a writer. I don't care what others think, but then again I don't tell many people that I write.

Shameless said...

Pen in hand, fingers on keys, creating your own phrases, you're a writer! That's it for me.
Lots of good posts while I've been a way Debi! Is the party still on at Pundy's?

Debi said...

Run, writers, run! The party's still going ...

Jan said...

You write if you need to and the need makes you a writer.

Minx said...

Writer - a person who marks a surface by means of pen, pencil, computer etc, with symbols, letters or words.

Yep, that'll do.

Anonymous said...

Writer - someone who jots down all the crazy ideas that come to their mind and figures out what to do with them later.

The Moon Topples said...

Um, do they have no criteria for acceptance? Seems like they are pushing us to fail.

carolyn says said...

i believe on acceptance is equal to 3 rejections. it's all about having proof to back up the claim and showing that you are trying to make a career of it

as for what makes a writer and what allows you to call yourself one, that's something i stuggle with. i have always considered myself a writer and defined myself as such but with only one poem published in a university chapbook (of which i was an editor) back in 1999 i do feel like a fraud sometimes even if i am actively pursuing the words

Debi said...

It's those pesky labels again, isn't it? And who do we allow to apply them?

If we have to have them , I think we should self-define rather than let others decide where to file us ...

Clare said...

Someone asked me what I was at a party once so I said 'a writer' because that is all I do.
'You can't say that,' he said, 'it's like saying you're a poet.'

mutleythedog said...

What about if you are paid to write things that other people are paid to read?
I only write using a freshly plucked quill on home made vellum personally...

hellojed said...

It's a relatively thin line between wanting to be a writer and actually writing, but it feels huge. It took me 30 years to take the plunge but it was worth it.

Atyllah said...

Ah.. the human preoccupation with definitions, labels, boxes... what does any of it matter - it is all illusion. We are what we are, whatever that is, that's all that really matters - that we "be".

Debi said...

Clare - I wonder what he was ...

Mutley - I prefer papyrus.

Hellojed - welcome. Had a quickie at your blog and it looks like you'd fit tidily in my links. You ok with that? As for taking 30 yrs, I take it you started at birth. And why not ...?

Aty - you share my feelings re labels. I did a post on this very subject recently - it resulted in the piscine takeover of my blog labels.

Jan said...

To Clare's comment I had to say:"BOOM! BOOM!"
And He was probably my Uncle Edward.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who writes is a writer, this is true. However, in order to become great, you must have content. And by content, I mean originality. And by originality, I mean unorthodox plots and experiences. And by life experiences, I mean an 80 year old trapped in a 12 year old's body. Either way, you cannot repeat what you have not yet learned. And if you feel that a walk-in-the-park sounds interesting, than maybe that is what you should go and do.