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.