Inlifestyle, literature, writing

Thoughts on Writing & Being a Writer

There’s a significant difference between saying “I write”, and “I’m a writer”. One is a matter of action, the other is a matter of identity. It’s not an easy thing to say, to own. Yes, I write. But am I a writer?

For a long time, I didn’t consider myself a writer. A writer was someone who was published, someone who finished every piece they started. But my opinion has changed: a writer is someone who writes for the sake of writing. It doesn’t matter if it gets published, a writer would write it anyway.

I recently started writing in a more professional atmosphere as an intern. Unlike writing for school and writing for personal enjoyment, this writing is actually being used somewhere, and it no longer only has my name on it. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also fulfilling to know that there’s something about the way I use words that sets me apart from others.

Since I started this blog, and since I started my internship, I’ve noticed myself saying – with more confidence and frequency – that I’m a writer. It doesn’t mean that I know exactly what I want that to look like in the future. I could be a novelist, a full-time blogger, or a fashion writer. Who knows?! Calling myself a writer just means that writing is something I do with intention and thoughtfulness. It’s something I take seriously whether it’s being published on a website or simply scribbled in a notebook.

One of my screenwriting professors in college said, “You know you’re a writer when you feel bad about not writing. People who aren’t writers don’t feel bad about not writing.”

That’s how I know I’m a writer. Because when I don’t write for a period of time, I feel like I’ve been neglecting a part of myself. Writing is a part of who I am, and I don’t think that will ever change.


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  • Chels

    I have been struggling with this for so very long. I couldn't decide if it's a self confidence issue or what, but I have never been able to say to someone, "I am a writer." I always felt like a fraud or something. You singlehandedly just lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. I love to write. I am a writer. Also, you're writing is beautiful!

    September 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm Reply
  • Haley Pettit

    I think there's definitely a part of it that's about confidence! You think "my writing's not that good…I can't call myself a writer!" When really, your writing probably is that good because you actually care about it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
    xo, Haley

    September 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm Reply
  • Carol Jo Pettit

    To me, the need to write indicates one is a writer, whether published or not.

    September 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm Reply
  • Haley Pettit

    That is so true. It's more a part of who you are as a person that it is a label that comes from how much you've written/had published.
    Thanks for reading!

    September 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm Reply
  • Cameron Proffitt

    So true. For someone who is truly a writer, writing is an integral part of their routine, no matter how difficult it can be sometimes to find the time to actually do it. I have totally felt the weird "but am I *really* a writer" twinge before. Glad I'm not alone! Thanks for sharing.

    Cameron Proffitt

    September 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm Reply
  • Haley Pettit

    You are definitely not alone! Thanks for reading.

    September 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm Reply
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