I think of all the people who list their occupation as “Actor” who wait tables. Am I writer who happens to work as a Purchasing Manager?
I write a lot. I have computer files and folders of various writing projects. As I’ve cleaned out some storage boxes and drawers lately, I keep finding paragraphs and essays I’ve written through the years with which I (still) cannot part. But none of this, in my opinion, makes me a writer.
Just because I’ve not submitted anything to a publication does not disqualify me from claiming the title “Writer”. Just because I haven’t had anything published or sought an agent does not disqualify me from declaring myself a writer. I deny myself the privilege of “Writer” status because I have not been open about my pieces. I’ve been selective about what I’ve published on my blog and even more selective about revealing (via Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that I’ve even blogged; leaving the possibility of acquiring any sort of readership to a chance “Google” encounter.
Writers must be open and authentic in their craft. Fiction writers must be honest about their characters if they want to persuade their readers to take interest in them. Essayists must be willing to reveal a part of themselves if they want to compel their audiences to feel and understand their points. Writers of Non-Fiction take the chance readers will mock their assertions; but they still have to reveal them.
Composing at a keyboard; writing in a journal; scratching out a phrase or sentence on a Post-it does not make one a writer. Writers need an audience of more than one. Writers must be willing to put “put themselves out there”. Writers need to click the “Link to Twitter and Facebook” options on their Blogs and then hit “Send”.
Let’s see if I’m “write” about this.