In an attempt to lure my Muse out of hiding I decided to forgo fiction for a post and try my hand at a poorly written essay, upon the topic of what it means to be a writer. The brain-thoughts that this post originated from were inspired by Skeltzer’s post, “To Blog Or Not To Blog” at Over Here. Enjoy, feedback in the form of comments always welcome.
Many people are under the misunderstanding that in order to be a writer one must be an author, and this is simply not the case. The qualifications for being a writer are very simple. One must write and desire to do so. You need not be published, but you must write. Fiction, Non-fiction it matters not, only that you write. None of your work need be finished to call yourself so, for you have met the sole requirement of being a writer. Now if you were to say that you were an author is another matter entire, that involves actual publication, but being an author is not the discussion at hand.
To be a writer does not necessarily demand that you must put pen to paper, any medium may be used. A pencil, crayons, markers, a typewriter, or a computer keyboard, all fine choices. For those traditional purists out there, you may even choose a quill, inkwell, and parchment as your preferred implements. There are so many choices for writers, young or old, new or experienced.
Now some may say, “Any medium is all well and good, but it matters how often you write.” Others still say, “Nay, you need only write, even if it is only once in your lifetime.” They obviously are most likely teachers and parents respectively. To both groups, by either definition anyone who has had to write even a paragraph for school is a writer, and that is simply absurd. To be a true writer, one must not only write but have the desire to do so. The compulsion some would call it. That something only a writer can hear when near writing implements akin to a siren’s call. The Muse’s demand that you write and the sweet harmony that you feel in your soul as you write the words that spring forth from your beleaguered imagination. That is what it means to be a writer.