Are You a Writer?

Quill and Ink

I’m a writer. I spent over three decades unaware of this essential truth, but I’m ready to atone for my ignorance.

For some reason, it never mattered that I’d been reading at least a book a week since my eyes could string the syllables together.

I could never be a writer.

Writing, I believed, was a spectator sport for me. I imagined the process as long, tedious, and certainly not something I was capable of. I pictured the lone man, tugging on his beard and banging on his typewriter; a single swallow left in a tumbler on the table, waiting as reward once the thread of inspiration had been pulled from his mind.

That’s not me. I’m not creative.

This was the constant whisper of a lifetime. Omnipresent and no more irrefutable than, “I cannot fly.”

I wish I knew the moment this changed, but becoming a writer has been less like the bloom of childbirth, than the process of pregnancy.

Here’s the shorthand:

I have language, so I can speak. I can speak, so I can tell a story. I can tell a story, so I can write.

It’s really that simple.

People have wanted stories since they were painting them inside their caves. This desire is what’s kept The Illiad and The Odyssey alive for so long. And it isn’t just belief in God that keeps the bible breathing.

It’s the stories.

The first time I put pen to paper (just last year), I found myself with a short story; a yarn so terrible that if now found, it could discredit me forever. But, as Dr. Suess said, “Everything stinks until it’s finished.”

That short story (about fifty pages) swelled into the first draft of my first novel. Every day, I gave it more of my voice, but just as you can’t stretch your tee-shirt a week after you start lifting weights, I was far from turning into Shakespeare overnight.

But I’ve been at it for a year, and I’ve written quite a lot.

I’ve launched a blog that’s done very well in it’s short life, and in three months, I’ll be trading my old life for a new one as a full time writer.

It’s not what I expected, but it is what I was born to do.

I’d always believed that I wasn’t very creative, or at least that what creativity I did have, didn’t run too deep. But I’m alive, and that means I know a good story when I hear one. A writer need not worry that his ideas will thin. Our minds only empty at the end of our final breath.

It’s a lot of work, and you’ll spend a lot of time in the edit if you want your words to sing, but the only way to be a writer is to sit down and start moving your pen across the paper (or your fingers across the keys), fueled by the knowledge that you have everything it takes.

So yes… you’re alive, so you’re a writer.

About the Author: Keep up with the writing exploits of Sean Platt at Writer Dad.

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Comments

  1. Great post! I wouldn’t classify myself as a writer. I don’t think I could hold a job writing professionally, well at least at a normal job.

    Blogging is another world though. Anybody can become a writer if they have a blog because it allows them to speak about whatever is on their mind. Not only does it allow you to write, it allows you to interact which in turn can give you even more ideas to write about.

    I think my writing will always been done on a keyboard unless I am of course writing a personal letter which needs emotion. Sure you can write emotion online but there is something about seeing writing in its purest form which I believe invokes the most emotion.

  2. Wow, this post blew me away. I’ve always had the greatest respect and admiration for writers, and thought, “I could never be one of them.”

    The ironic thing is that I’ve been paid to write — as a pro blogger — for the past three years. I got very good at telling myself, “Blogging isn’t writing … it’s blogging.”

    Thanks for the reality check.

    • Whats funny about your comment is that usually people are just the opposite. “I’m not a real live writer, until I get paid for it!” You’ve been getting paid for it. And if you’ve been blogging for the past 3 years as a pro blogger, there is no doubt that you are a writer. A writer is someone who writes. Period!

  3. An encouraging article. It’s easy to forget that the words are already in there, and I just need to let them out. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I finally left corporate America and now freelance as a promotional copywriter. Have never been happier, or busier! Love the diversity, the working from home, and the creativity. It has allowed me to also start my own children’s biz and am setting up a blog. So I am now officially a copywriter.

  5. Great post! One of the things that I try to instill in my students is the idea conveyed throughout your post-writing is lifework not deskwork…we are all writers!

  6. I am not a writer.

    But I admire those who know their true calling and embrace it.

    I didn’t realise it was you until I was ¾ the way through the text. It’s been great watching you express yourself through your own blog and I’m delighted to see your work here too.

    You are a writer.

  7. I appreciate the positive sentiment of this post from a motivational perspective, but the simple fact is not everyone is suited to be a writer, just as not everyone is suited to be a musician.

  8. Aaron, anyone who wants to be a musician or a writer can be one… it just depends on how much you want it. For some, it’s easier than others, so that’s where the “how much do you want it” part comes in.

  9. Sean,
    You are a writer. Best reading I have had today. Best.

  10. Aaron’s comment reminds me of the line from Disney’s Ratatouille “Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”

    Anyone can write. Not everyone can become a writer, but a great writer can come from anywhere.

    And Sean, if you haven’t read any Julia Cameron in your various readings, I highly recommend you do, particularly “The Right to Write.”

    Great post!

  11. I appreciate the thoughts in your post — I, also, was an avid reader for the first two decades of my life, and only recently discovered a passion for placing words in the right order and making them come alive. And now I’m in the process of starting my own copywriting business … who would have thought.

    Thanks!
    Heidi

  12. Jarret: I agree. I handwrite letters to my wife, and children, all the time. It’s important to keep the written word alive. There’s sure something to be said for the speed and immediacy of the keyboard though.

    Dave: You are a writer. Blogging is writing, even if it isn’t writing with copious revision. I’ve been blogging for two months. In that time, I feel, I’ve become a far better writer because of the medium. I have to make my point and keep the audience interested. I don’t want them skimming, and I’ve only got five hundred words.

    Cass: It’s a bottomless well, Cass. Just lower the bucket.

    Danielle: Congratulations. I’m going full time in another three months. I just hopped over to your site. Cute, I would’ve totally bought one of those for my wee ones. Stop by when your blog is up so I can go and visit.

    Angela: Thanks. We may all have different stories to tell, but we can all tell stories.

    Dave: Thanks, especially for being with me from the beginning. I wasn’t prepared to out myself until Monday (coincidentally), but I’m glad that Brian did it for me.

    Aaron: Not everyone can produce a bestseller, but everyone can write. Each of us has a story, and we can learn how to lay it down. Same with music. I could never tour, but I could learn to play my scales. I just have to decide it’s something I want to do.

    Brian: Thanks for letting me share your space. I admire what you do, and not just here. I’ve never had so many people observing my thoughts, and my heart hasn’t reduced itself to its normal tempo for fifteen minutes. I know I’ll eventually earn this in multiplicity, but you’ve been the first to provide it. Thank you so much.

    Janice: Thank you. That is a true compliment.

    KatFrench: I love that movie. It’s designed with a perfect sentiment at its core, which radiates like sunshine through every frame. I’ve never heard of Julia Cameron but I will acquaint myself with her before I lay my head on the pillow this evening. Thanks.

    Heidi: You are welcome. As writers, we not only make our words sing, but we tell them the tune.

  13. Really the nice one. I completely agree with you: I think anyone can be a writer, because everyone has a story to tell. And if you have a story and you know the way how to say it, why not doing so?

    Personally I love writing. When I am sad, happy or full of any other emotion, I just sit down and type what I feel or what I want to feel. It makes me feel free somehow.

  14. Music is seven notes and the alphabet is 22 (Italian 20) letters.
    You are a great musician or a great writer depending how you put them together.
    All begins there, but how different can be the result!

    You put some letters together and you make a word, then some words and you make a line, then some lines and you make a page or a short post or whatever.

    It is not the story you tell, it it actually the WAY you tell the story that makes you a writer.
    It is the one who reads that makes you a writer.
    It is the many who read you that make you a successful writer.

  15. Great post. I’ve always considered myself a writer but haven’t published for years. I recently read Bird by Bird – highly recommend it – but the message there and in your post is the same. To be a writer, you must write. Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder that without a pen in hand, I’m only a thinker.

  16. I say, if you love to write, you are a writer. It’s a self-appointed title worth more than an official one.

    Good write Daddy-O!

  17. to quote Michener: “I’m am not a writer; I am a hell of a re-writer.” But, write, write, write has been a passion that has caught on with my children. People ask me to write; now sometimes people PAY me to write. I am amazed.

  18. Love the Dr. Seuss quote.

    Very nice, Sean, a reminder that we don’t have to wait for someone to come over and appoint us as Writers. We just have to write.

    It makes me deeply sad when people say they aren’t creative. And many people say and believe that. One great thing about blogging is that it’s taken creative work (writing, photography, etc.) and made it something you share with friends instead of something that only the Select Few get to do.

  19. My belief is that we are all writers – it’s the perception of other people as to how “good” our writing is. That’s all. Just as I can create music and dance even though I would never categorize myself as a musician or dancer. There are just varying degrees of competency on the scale of anything creative. We, as human beings, attach judgment to what is created.

    Congratulations on listening to your inner voice and creating what you were meant to create.

  20. Zimmi: Even if you don’t share your words, the exercise is worth it. I’ve found that the more I write, the better I know myself.

    Patrizia: I love what you’ve said here. The Beatles, Hemmingway; Beethoven, Shakespeare. They didn’t have better ingredients than the rest of us. They were just better chefs.

    Bucktowndusty: Agreed. It took me a long time to accept the title, but it’s apt, and I’m glad I have.

    JudyA: Carving my living with words is an eventuality that’s worth every sacrifice or hard moment I’ll have along the way.

    Sonia: Hi Sonia. Nice to chat with you in a different nook. Blogging is a tremendous equalizer. I had no idea what I was in for, but opening that door was the best thing I ever could have done.

  21. Isn’t it fantastic to realize a complete identity, tucked underneath what we once thought we were? Fantastic post. Best I’ve read in weeks.

  22. Wow what a great story. Your a late bloomer and so am I. For the last 15 years I’ve thought of myself as the writer who doesn’t write b/c I let my imagination go wild but never began “writing” until I launched my first blog this year. Thanks for the inspiration to keep going.

  23. Personally, I can’t say that “I can speak, so I can tell a story. I can tell a story, so I can write.”

    I am the opposite of this theory: I can tell a story because I can write. Working stories in print is far easier for me than sitting around and telling a story.

    Cool post. Good luck on your ventures, WD

  24. Are you a blogger or a writer? You can’t be both. It’s something that I’ve blogged about before. Even Robert Scoble weighed in on the discussion over at FriendFeed.

    http://chrisbonney.typepad.com/chris_bonney/2008/06/are-you-a-blogger-or-a-writer-you-cant-be-both.html

  25. Great post! I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Sean (aka Writer Dad) recently; first through his writing and since through some collaborative efforts. He is a gifted writer and it’s been awesome to watch as his talent unfolds.

    I believe Sean’s work will inspire many writers-in-waiting to pick up a pen (or plug in a keyboard) and to mark their claim.

    Yes, I am a writer.

    The next step, as Sean alludes to, is putting forth the time, effort and dedication to honing our skills to become GREAT writers – the kind of writers that transport minds with their words, the kind that motivate bodies to action, the kind that dare others to dream.

    The kind of writer Sean is.

  26. Very inspiring and timely. I never thought of myself as a writer either although I have a degree in Journalism – I always thought I wanted to be a photographer, but became a brand manager and am now evolving into a writer. I find I enjoy ‘writing’ pictures rather than ‘taking’ them.

    It’s about taking action and doing. And doing some more. And working through “The Dip” as Seth Godin so eloquently explains.

  27. Great story. I have found myself to be in similar situations. I actually enjoy the concept of writing but am extremely impatient and have a very short attention span. I have all these ideas in my head but to sit down and write is very difficult. Even when I’ve managed to sit down and write and get into it, it’s for a short period that can’t translate over weeks. Do you have any advice for someone with a short attention span.

    Craig
    http://www.budgetpulse.com

  28. Shaun: Wow. I’m not sure how much you read, but even if it’s just the Sunday paper, that’s quite a compliment. Thanks. Yes, it’s amazing. I know myself quite a bit more than I did a year ago.

    Che: You are quite welcome. I’m glad I was able. I’ll be over to wander around your words a bit later.

    KarenY: Thanks, Karen. I believe this is a theory that can be flipped upside down.

    Chris: I don’t know. I’m interested in the controversy. I’ll check out the link after dinner and get back to you. Promise.

    Blogger Dad: Aw shucks, Blogger Dad. There you go making me all blushy.

    Craig: Yes. Don’t be afraid to put it down and come back to it later. I have a short attention span as well. I work on an unhealthy amount of things at once. If something bores you, put it down. Come back to it later. You can always work on it bit by bit. Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Also, don’t be afraid to write garbage. It’s okay. You can clean up later.

  29. GREAT and very inspirational post! Something (akin to an “A Ha!” moment) exploded inside me when I read it.

    Thanks for the confirmation–I AM A WRITER!! :)

  30. Loved your post! It’s only recently I have realised I could call myself a writer, despite writing (and reading avidly) for most of my life! There is a fabulous book ‘The Artists Way’ by Julia Cameron which has recently crossed my path – it has provided more than one lightbulb moment (and some structure to my writing habits!!) This year I finally dipped my toes in the water and have co-authored a book which will be out in a couple of weeks – it’s in the self-help / entrepreneurial genre. If I’m writing I’m happy!

  31. Beautiful post! Most of our limits are the ones we apply to ourselves.

  32. I think this is really well put. Too many times people never want to begin blogging because they don’t think they can write. That is why there is spell check on word processors. They usually can tell you if your sentence is really a sentence and whether words are spelled right. So all you really need to know is a little information about something and tell people how to do something or give them a story. I know we are all writers and we will all write our own way.

  33. Sean, thank you for telling people what I tell them every day. And it’s even more of a truth now, because if you can speak, you can do audio, and that’s another form of writing. My next course is called The Writer in the Blog, and later this month when it comes out, I’ll refer people back to your post. So they can see. A writer is a person who has learned how to let out their voice.
    keep up the good work! – Suzanna

  34. Nice post Writer Dad, am quite inspired by your optimism. I’ve often been at odds with others writers think “not everyone can just write” which I disagree with.

    I really do think everyone has a novel in them. Glad you’ve decided to search for it.

  35. Denise: I’m thrilled I could do that. Indeed you are.

    Lisa: This is the second time today that Julia Cameron has been recommended to me. I promise to check it out. Congratulations on your book. That’s really terrific.

    Deb: I’d say, almost all. Obviously we can’t breathe under water, but we can learn to dive.

    Franklin: Just like thoughts, everyone’s writing is different. The mechanics can come later, it’s about laying the ideas down on the page (or up on the screen).

    Suzanna: My absolute pleasure. Get in touch with me when that comes out. I’d be happy to mention it. “A writer is a person who has learned how to let out their voice.” I like that, thanks.

    Benjamin: We all have a story. A novel is just a story with disciplined prose.

  36. I’m glad that you found out that you can be a writer. I didn’t realize how much I enjoy it until more recent years. So I have also been pretty much blind to where my passion lie.

    Isn’t it wonderful to come to know what makes us feel really alive?

  37. Interesting post,’ARE YOU A WRITER”. I enjoyed reading it.I!m past eighty years old and did not know what a blog was a few months ago. My son set up a blog site for me about 4 months ago. I have about 70 articles posted and absolutely love writing. And enjoy the Freedom of writing about anything that pops into my head when I get up in the morning. Lately mostly about politics. I!m discovering a whole new world reading other blogs.
    I think we were created to be creators and writing is creative. My 10 year old grand-child and i are writing a book about 3 flying squirrels, Nutmeg Nellie, Dit Da & Sagarue. So writing has no age limits, and so much fun to express how we think and feel. I!m definitely not a trained writer, and kick myself for not starting earlier. I write because I love doing it plus the bonus of recognition when some-one says they like what I write and encourage me to write more. it doesnt get any better than that!!
    I feel if I can do it any-one can do it and would encourage any-one to try their hand at writing. And Blogging is such a wonderful medium of expression.
    Keep it up!!

  38. great post, I am not a writer. I am a blogger and trying to be a writer soon :-)

  39. Well look at you all posting on Copyblogger! And a damn fine post it is, too. You’re alive, you’re a writer. Heh. I like that!

  40. This post was absolutely beautiful…thank you for sharing your thoughts. I needed to hear that

  41. You’re on your path. Nothing beats doing what you were born to do!

  42. Very well written and inspiring. Way to go!

  43. Nice site and insightful post. Discovering your creativity as a writer is an important step, but never more important than thinking like a reader. As Dr. Seuss put it, “The writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

  44. Writing is amazing, umm.. the problem sometimes is finding what to write or what will be our next subject

  45. Agreed!

    We are all creative, have ideas, wish to tell a story and can write.

    The difference between a writer and a ‘player with
    words’ is the writer is willing to 1) spend time writing the piece 2) laborously editing the piece and 3) publishing it for others to read and critique.

    These three points are the blood, sweat and tears that go into making the difference.

    Congratulations on having the discipline, dedication and sheer ‘insanity’ to joint the ranks of writer and up and coming author.

    May your writing bring you joy, pleasure and money!

  46. Hooray for Writer Dad!! This is a proud moment. Your development as a successful writer, emphasis on successful, is astounding, and I’m confident you will continue to do very well over your recently chosen career path. (Don’t forget to take your editor along the way. She’ll help you with those rogue commas and stuff.) :)

    Okay, enough of the formal guidance counsellor tone. You’re the shit, dude. Very inspiring post. I’m going to send it to a doubting friend who desires to write but can’t get past his hangups to actually just do it. I like how you pointed out he has all he needs.

    Congrats on guest posting here!

  47. I don’t agree that you can’t be both blogger and writer, btw. I also don’t believe people can tell you you have to choose one or the other, or that they can really tell you you’re not one or the other or both.

    My husband and I recently had a discussion about what makes a writer, who is “allowed” to call themselves that, or anything else, for that matter, like artist, and I saw that everything we came up with was rather subjective. As a copyeditor, I was stuck on writers being people who write for a living. I also kept turning the conversation to what makes a good writer, the operative word being good. Which meant for me that solely desire or ability to write did not constitute the “right” to say you were a writer, nor did solely the action of writing. But there are bad writers out there, and they are still writers. And there are people out there writing and writing and writing and not being published and I would say, yes, they are still writers.

    I suppose in the end what gets us in this sort of debate is our need to label ourselves as writer, artist, problogger, copyeditor, doer of whatever, rather than say, I write. I paint/draw/sculpt, etc., I blog professionally, I copyedit. There’s pride in saying you are something rather than simply saying you do it. In the end, though, far be it from me to say you can’t be something.

  48. Evelyn: Yes it is. It’s like moving out of the city and into different air.

    Anne: Wow, Anne. That’s awesome. I’d love to see your blog. I’ll be over later.

    Tinh: I know there’s some conflict there, but I’d say if you’re a blogger, you are a writer.

    Michael: Ah shucks, don’t I know it. It’s easy to feel big in my own digs at Writer Dad. Here I feel so teeny tiny; but in a good way.

    Kiersten: My pleasure. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    J.D.: Winning the lottery and having infinite funds to do what you were born to d— wait, never mind. No reward that way.

    Yoav: Thanks.

    Guitar Dad: I’ve never heard that Suess quote. It’s perfect and I love it.

    Creation Site: If a bird’s flying outside your window, there’s your subject. It doesn’t matter what you write about; it matters that you find the meaning in the material.

    Melody: You are absolutely right.

    Steph: Hi, Steph. Editors make good writers great, and great writers immortal, right?

    I believe that as long as everybody is happy with the label they give themselves, it should be the business of no one else.

  49. Writer Dad,

    You are DEEP! You are the dude and your feelings vibrate through your writing. I am honored to have found you on the Web. And I can’t wait to read your novel!

    Keep on Writing Writer Dad!

    PS. This was a very nice post. Like always.

    Ellen

  50. Yeah, and there is something psychological to it all if you label yourself a writer. You don’t need people to justify it. YOU have to justify it.

    Write the words and the readers will come.

  51. Are you a writer? You are if your words move people. Are you a musician? If your music moves people. Otherwise, we would have to say that everyone is a writer, and everyone is a musician, which is not the common way that we use those words.

  52. Not everyone is a writer and that’s OK. Being a great writer takes time, skill and practice. If you have the time and patience for it, great. If not, find something else you excel at.

    But really, the thought of more budding mediocre writers gives me nightmares.

  53. Well said Writer Dad. I agree with your points.

    And congratulations on this guest post.

  54. One of the books that sits next to my laptop these days is “The Pocket Muse” by Monica Wood. Filled with ideas and inspiration for writing, the cartoons and quotes may as well provide fodder for online writers.

    I’ve been a published professional writer for the better part of 18 years – and my bookshelf is racked with numerous literary essays, reference texts, and how-to guides.

    While my past writing is indicative of history, travel, and hard news themes, my current writing – both online and off – is attuned to social media and technology policy. If interested, come on down at ariwriter.com.

    Sean, nice to see you on here!

  55. Ellen: Ooh, I like that; YOU have to justify it. True that.

    Brian: What if your music brings only one person to tears? Is that enough? What if that one person is you? If someone wants to call themselves a writer, or a musician, and that’s how they see themselves, what could the harm possibly be?

    Joy-Mari: There’s a large distinction between being a writer and being a great writer. Not everyone is, or can be, a great writer. EVERYONE can be, simply a writer. I have nightmares of death and pestilence. I’ve never lost a wink of sleep worrying about those who are stumbling around, trying to get better at something.

    Ari: I’ll be there later, thanks. It’s nice to be here.

  56. It’s true…
    writing isn’t something I thought that i’d be doing either…
    I always loved reading and learning but writing???
    i don’t know about that.
    it really is simple.
    I love blogging because blogging doesn’t necessarily have to be gramatically correct or anything..
    it can be like this…
    with periods everywhere and so on and so forth.
    No one cares as long as the content is good.
    Writing is a great thing to do to get your thoughts out and I think that it helps you become a better communicator as well.

    Have a good one!

    David King,

    http://yougottaseethisblog.com

  57. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this astonishing post. I can’t begin to tell you how much I relate to you experience. I too have struggled with the same belief that I’m not creative enough to write, yet I feel really pulled to the idea of becoming a writer. I once heard someone say, “If you want to be a writer, just write. The rest will follow!”.

    I think it was Arnold Patton who said something to the effect of “If you genuinely have something to say, there is someone who needs to hear it.”. Thanks for the reminder that in fact we all have a story to tell. You story has been heard.

  58. Writing is a lot of work. But done well, your words can become stories that live on for ages. You write very well. Stories that touch people in unique ways.

    Keep on writing. Keep on being the “you” that you desire to be!

  59. David: We should definitely take the time to craft our words and check our work, but you’re right, blogging is about getting the ideas across. For that, it’s wonderful.

    Sublime Passage: I read your post. It is wonderful. Thank you.

    Sue: Thank you, Sue. I’m thrilled you caught the wave.

    Stark Raving Calm: Thank you. I read your post. It was positively my pleasure.

    Lance: I’d love to sing a song that will echo through the epochs. Maybe I will, but the only one who could make it happen is me, and the only way to make it happen, is to give myself the opportunity.

  60. I find that it’s hard for many of us to make the claim, “I’m a writer.” I believe there is a kind of false threshold that we buy into that tells us we are below the line and until we meet certain qualification, we can not be part of those classified as “writers.” It’s a confidence thing. If we write, then we are writers. Who cares if we haven’t written a book? Who cares if we’ve never been published?

    I was in a community writing class last evening. The WRITER I sat next to said that her writing is mostly done in journals. I listened to her read some of her work. To me, she is a writer.

    I think your post is refreshing. You have the courage to tell it like it is and encourage the rest of us to start seeing ourselves as writers. Thank you!

  61. “I’m not a writer” is very much a limiting belief, because by believing it, it comes true and you don’t write anything. I’m glad to see you’re applying your creativity and embracing your writing skills.

    I’m writing more and more too, but as blogging rather than publishing a book or something more formal. It’s a great way to start because it’s simple and easy, and it can lead to ‘greater’ things later. I wouldn’t mind never publishing a book, because writing free articles reaches a far larger audience.

    The aversion to writing stems from a bigger belief, as you’ve noted. That belief is: “I’m not creative.” I’m an artistic photographer, and I’m surprised how easy it is to put my vision into pictures. Other people enjoy them, but they tell me “I wish I had the eye to do that.” You don’t NEED the eye, you already have it. Same with writing.

  62. Hi Sean,

    Hell, you are a writer and so am I. Look at all those great comments, how could you not be. It is interesting to see though how some of us discover a passion for writing later on in life.

    Like you, I would have never thought I would end up with writing as a living. But like you, I followed my passion and here we are. You will be full time before you know it. Woohoo, awesome stuff, keep it up WD. You rock!

  63. Dear Brian,

    You said it wonderfully. Iam sure this article will seed to more great writers of the future. For long I also felt that writing is for gifted and special people, who are born to do that. I used to read a lot in my childhood times and always used to marvel at the skill of writing.

    I was sure that Iam not able to write. Utill the day, under compulsion of my mother, I have written a short story for their employee magazine. It turned out as good. And got good reviews. This have given me confidence to write more.
    All the best.

  64. Hi Sean,
    I had no initiation to copywriting when I started off in the ad agencies. I just fumbled into it to escape boring zoology teaching ( I like to teach humanities!). But later realised it’s not so easy to be accepted as a writer by the seniors who’ve been established.
    I was dejected and depressed, but never lost hope. I never wanted anyone to endorse my writing. I write what comes to me naturally. I struggle even today after 12 yrs. of experience to convince a Creative Director in an ad agency that I can write.
    If not for your kind words of encouragement many a wannabe writers would have lost hope. We wouldn’t have listened to their beautiful experiences in the form of stories. I salute your dedication and empathy for human wishes to become what they thought can become, to reach from bad to good, from good to excellence!
    Thanks for the inspiration and keep it flowing!

  65. “in three months, I’ll be trading my old life for a new one as a full time writer.”

    This is such a beautiful, exciting, uplifting sentence. It holds so much hope and promise for a better future.

    I am happy and excited for you, Sean. Good luck with everything!

  66. Sean,

    Wow! Going pro, eh? That’s great news. Living a dream is phenomenal. How does the old platitude go? Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? I think that’s it, and it is so SO true.

    You are creative and your writing has taught me a lot about how to be a better writer. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m glad to have found your little corner of the web and watch as you achieve some great accomplishments.

    Still looking forward to the novel, and some more wee books. Be well.

  67. B. Wilde: Thanks a lot. We might not all be authors, but if we’re writing, we can consider ourselves writers.

    Richard: You’re correct. It becomes a self fulfilled prophecy. We all live our lives, and each of us has a unique story. Whether that story is worth telling is up to each of us, but if we can tell that story, and get it down on paper (even if it’s not perfect), we are indeed writing.

    Monika: You’ve been kind to me from the beginning. Thank you so much. I look forward to doing the deed full time.

    Writer Dad: Hey there. You rock! (self affirmation is good).

    Sudheesh: If we can read our favorite authors, and recognize what we love about their language, we can try to interpret their method when we tell our story. Congratulations on your short story.

    Solomon: My absolute pleasure, Solomon. I promise I will.

    Vered: Thank you, Vered. This is indeed a truly exciting time.

    Ian: Sorry if I disappointed you with no WeeBook today. I promise I’ll have something for next week.

  68. SEAN! That’s my brother’s name…I knew I liked you. ;)

    I think this is a wonderful testament to the power of our gifts, whether we acknowledge them or not. You are a writer and, as I’ve come to realize, I am as well.

    This is a wonderful post.

  69. Hey WD,

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more.

    I have spent all of my life knowing I was a writer and the half my life trying to be one. ;-) It’s one of those things I knew deep down even as a child but I let other things (and people) get in the way of actually allowing myself to be a writer.

    I’m so glad you found your voice. I enjoy your blog and expect I’ll be reading your words for a long time to come, whatever form they take.

    ~ Annie

  70. Good onya, sugar, for listening to the call. It’s so easy for “I can’t” or “I’m not” to drown it out.

    It will be grand watching you spread your wings and soar.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  71. Hi Brian and Sean (Writer Dad)

    What a beautiful post. It’s’ no wonder your blog has taken off so fast as your words resonate with anyone who expresses themselves with the written word.

    Bloggers unite. We all have a writer hidden within us.

  72. Hayden: Once we know what we can do, it’s our responsibility to do it as well as we can. Thanks, Hayden.

    Annie: Listen to yourself, you know best. Thanks for enjoying my words, I’ll dish them out for a long while. I promise.

    Barbara: Yes we do.

  73. Sean,
    To quote the famous author, Dr. Seuss, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…” You passed “writer” a LONG time ago, no matter how “short” a time you’ve been blogging. You have gone from “writer” to “author” – a big difference – in no time flat. As we’ve discussed, the “author” was ALWAYS there, but “Writer Dad” gave him the confidence to emerge. I’ll be looking for your name in the local bookstores – SOON!

    I am thrilled for you – and for Daisy. And I’m also thrilled for the public at large, who will have the opportunity to see your words where they most belong: OVER the Title of your first book!

    Fondly,

    Rita

  74. Well, dang, this was fun!

    I started thinking about stories a few years back, and what they mean to me, and how everyone has thousands of them, and how we all listen to stories and read stories. Heck, TV testifies to our desire for stories. And oral stories were the first ones we shared, so plays and TV are very legitimate places to look for our story-love.

    thanks for this!

    Michelle

  75. What an inspirational piece.

    My fave: “I have language, so I can speak. I can speak, so I can tell a story. I can tell a story, so I can write. ”

    Storytelling is REALLY what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing.

  76. Rita: Your faith in me is flattering. Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

    Michelle: I totally agree about TV. I watch almost none now, but it’s only because of a complete lack of time. I think television is wonderful, and I think the last few years has seen some remarkable programming.

    Latarsha: My pleasure. It is all about a good story.

  77. Dunno if I’d label myself a writer. There’s a lot of baggage and stereotype around the term: you mentioned it yourself in your imagery of what a writer is supposed to be like, look like. That I’ve published, that I’ve won awards in most of the creative arenas that I’ve pursued; none of that really matters.

    Writing is fairly facile for me. I’ve always enjoyed the stereotype of the writer sweating blood over the typewriter, but it’s not me at all. I hand-write in journals I keep while I travel, when I’m camping in the tent, or at restaurants on driving breaks, etc. Writing by hands, poems come easier. But I also live out of my laptop, and poems can start there, too, as do lots of my essays. So the struggling writer stereotype doesn’t match my experience.

    But maybe there’s a reason for that, in that I don’t regard my own writing as my principle art, and I don’t take it nearly as seriously, apparently, as “Writers!” do. I view my writing as a distant third among the arts I work in, after music and visual art. (Yup, won awards in all three categories, so even if it’s hubris to say any of this, I can back it up.) So, since my self-worth and ideas of who I am are not invested in my writing, maybe that makes it come a little easier, with a little more self-confidence: there’s no pressure that I put upon myself to succeed. Either you do, or you don’t. *shrug* The irony of course is that I seem to be becoming better-known as a poet than anything else, thanks to the nature of the blogospheric medium. Go figure. And so much for personal ambition.

    I imagine myself to be unusual in this attitude towards writing, and I’ve taken heat from “Writer!”s about it, in various locales. I appreciate your cheerleading, I think it’s necessary for many writers who are still young in their crafts. At some point, though, I think it’s important to remind artists of whatever type or genre that they need to turn inward and follow their own inner compass wherever it might lead—cheerleading and encouragement aside—and trust their muses, or whatever. When the time is ripe for that, of course, and not before. Psychologically, I like this self-validation of “I am a writer!” stuff; I’m just aware from personal experience that it can only carry you so far. After that, the REAL work begins.

  78. love reading this all comments! i hope i can be a writer too someday…i like everything you tell about writer DAD!
    good to found this page!

  79. Art: I couldn’t agree more. We can all lay claim to whatever we’d like, but it’s all rather meaningless if we aren’t willing to stand behind our words with our own blood, sweat, and tears. I loved the idea of being a writer since I was a boy. The difference between then and the last thirteen months, is that I’ve put pen to paper (or fingers to keys more often) every day for the last four hundred. That’s what makes me a writer.

    Auggie: I’m glad you found me too, Auggie. Thanks.

  80. Hey there! great post! I’m looking for a post like this to inspire me! Great! you really inspired me! I love to write! and whatever comes into my mind i ended up to a great idea! thanks..,

  81. I don’t think it is by accident that I stumbled into this post on this early morning. I’ve spent many days and nights lately looking for the encouragement to say, I’m a writer. I have another job that pays me well but when I write, I lose all sense of time and space and I feel joy. Even when it’s hard, I feel a sense of who I was made to be. I’m only in the blog stage but the feedback has been encouraging and I’m moving forward to see where this journey takes me. Thanks for a great post that is just what I needed.

  82. Great, excellent post. It inspires me so much.
    But I am not a blogger neither do I have website. I spent most of my time in the class room, leturing and speaking to the students and browsing the internet. I have also been writing academic papers and articles for newspapers since the beginning of eigthties, but never feel like a writer. By the way, is there realy a “true writer” ?
    Your shorthand : “I have language, so I can speak. I can speak, so I can tell a story. I can tell a story, so I can write. ” I like this and will certaintly forward this shorthand to my stundents. You are realy creative. I try to make my students as creative as you are. Thank you for your insight. All the best!

  83. extremely motivational and powerful piece. Writer, blogger, author, webmaster…I don’t guess it really matters what you call it. Blogsville has inspired the writer in all of us and more importantly given people a reason to READ again. Great post!!

  84. I am a writer – until recently I have been a very frustrated writer – then I discovered blogging and it set the writer in me free.

    Now I blog for the sheer pleasure of writing – if my hard work gets read somewhere along the line, that is great.

    If what I write is helpful or interesting to some, even better. If my writing sparks some healthy debat then I have hit the spot, but in reality all that matters to me at this point in time is that I am writing and enjoying every single moment of it.

    So to put my usual upside-down spin on the article’s last words – “So yes… you’re alive, so you’re a writer.” I would say “Yes I am a writer so I am alive”

  85. Great post! Awesome tips and advice! It should come in handy for a writer like me. Still in high school, fifteen years old, and trying on my own to launch my writing career. Though, I’m not complaining. I love the feeling of being able to show others what I can do. But, yes, even though I write what I feel like writing and am currently unpublished, I am a writer. It’s what I do and how I chose to express myself. I love it. It’s not just a dream. It’s a passion.

  86. muyiwaalabi :

    Beautiful piece. Thanks

  87. Just last year? Congrats! That’s really inspiring.

  88. I love this post, and now I am going in search of everything you’ve written so I can read some more of your excellent writing.

  89. Good luck fellow writer!