A Writer is Someone Who Writes

A Writer is Someone Who Writes

During one of my recent writing groups, one woman introduced herself by saying, “I can’t quite say I’m a writer yet….”

Which led me to ask the question: When can you call yourself a writer?  I feel sad that we don’t all consider ourselves writers. A writer is someone who writes. I agree with Pat Schneider, who begins the introduction to her book, Writing Alone and With Others

“Everyone is a writer. You are a writer […] Those who do not write stories and poems on solid surfaces tell them, sing them, and, in so doing, write them on the air.”

I suggest that the act of putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – to record your memories, thoughts, and imagination makes you deserving of the designation “writer” as perceived by the general public. However, I believe that anyone can be a writer. My purpose as a mentor and guide is to support each person to get their words onto the page, to begin to see the beauty of their own stories, poems, creative expressions.

The standard for calling oneself a writer in our culture is high. It seems that you must make money writing before you can call yourself a writer, or you must be published by a traditional publishing house. After I had self-published my memoir The Chocolate Pilgrim, it still took me at least a year before I called myself a writer.

My turning point occurred while on vacation in Sedona, Arizona. My friends were encouraging me to own my latest profession. “Call yourself a writer!” They insisted. “When someone asks what you do, say you’re an author. Talk about your book!” Finally, after several days of encouragement, I followed their advice when my tour guide asked me what I did for a living. I was genuinely surprised she didn’t call me out for being a liar or a fraud! In fact, she showed a great interest in my memoir and ended up buying a copy. My confidence soared, and I’ve been declaring myself a writer ever since.

Years ago, a wise friend said something that stuck with me: The beauty about the designation of writer is that it can be tacked onto absolutely everything. This means you can be a musician and writer, a doctor and writer, or an engineer and writer. And one day you’ll be confident enough to put writer first.

Creatively Yours,
Image of Marie leaning against a pillar holding a coffee cup


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