Sunday, 10 June 2012

Prepare to be Outraged

I hope you have a cup of chamomile tea to drink while you're reading this, because if you're anything like me your blood might actually boil with indignant rage. I saw this article years ago and it still makes me seethe whenever I think about it.

An author (I can't remember who, so there's no point asking me) once put a "How to Deal with Telling People You're a Writer" post up. I figured hey, that'd be a fun read. Sometimes it can be a pain telling people you're a writer when you always get the same types of eye-rolling responses.

One of the points was when people ask "But are you a real writer?" kind of question. The author addressed this by saying something along the lines of "Don't worry about this line of questioning. They're only asking because too many people go around saying they're writers even though they haven't gotten published."

...too many people go around saying they're writers even though they haven't gotten published.

I'm sorry, WHAT?

(Urge to kill rising, rising...)

EXCUSE ME. I've spent eleven years writing stories. Working on manuscripts. Researching the publishing world, following agents, reviewing books, editing, rewriting, screaming at frustration at the computer when that scene SIMPLY WOULDN'T WORK. How DARE that author assume I'm not a writer just because I haven't gotten published?

Writing is in my blood. My fingertips tingle when I sit down to tell a story. Even if I never get published, I won't be able to stop creating worlds and people and crazy situations. What part of that ISN'T being a writer?

If you ever hear or see something like this, lift your chin, give an indignant snort of disapproval, and walk away. What does that person know about you and your passions? And when I find the author that wrote that book, I am never, NEVER going to buy their work, because hey, who needs them?


  1. True that!! Being published or unpublished has nothing to do with defining someone as a "writer." Like you said, it's all about passion and tenacity :D
    Ninja Girl

  2. It took me a long time to allow myself to call myself a writer - for this reason. The pressue that you're only a writer if your "published" it very papiable. It exsists in the writing community just as much as outside of it. I have a friend who is pushing me to publish something, because it changed so much for him. Well, I'm not ready to publish, but that doesn't make me any less of a writer.

    1. No, it doesn't! I honestly don't think it has anything do with being published or not.

      Good luck with the writing!

  3. To paraphrase Robin Benway: Being published doesn't make you a writer. Writing makes you a writer.

    1. Ack, perfect! I wish I knew that quote before I posted this! :)

  4. I agree that being a writer isn't about being published; HOWEVER, I do think that there are people out there who call themselves writers, but don't necessarily put the effort into their writing. Like, I'm not a writer. I want to be, but I'm not quite there yet (except during Nano-season).

    You, however, are a writer no matter what the author of that article says.

  5. That's a dickhead right there if I ever heard one