Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are You A Writer?

For years I have had trouble referring to myself as a writer simply because without having something of significance published, I felt like a phoney. Recently however, that began to change. Talk to many people and some believe you're a writer if you write. If you're trying to get published, even if you haven't had anything accepted already, you're a writer because the difficult part really is getting something accepted by a legitimate publication but as long as you're trying, you're a writer.

But with all the convincing that took, I am finding myself a little annoyed with groups that seem to see it differently. Recently, an Alberta Writers Directory has been created. It lists all published writers living in Alberta. The only requirement to be considered a writer, is that you have something of book length published. Novel, collection of short stories, creative non-fiction, poetry collections. But it does not include anyone that has been published in literary journals, magazines or otherwise. So what? They aren't considered a writer. What if you've had numerous short stories published, all you like to do is write short stories, but have no desire to put toghether a collection of stories? You're not a writer?  I agree that you shouldn't be included if you've only had one or two items published but is it really fair to exclude those that don't have book length publications?

And then, I got an invitation to a grand opening event for a new local book store. They are having readings by various local authors throughout the evening. But...the only way to be included in this event is to be reading from, yet again, a book length publication.

Granted, there are events that focus on those writers that don't necessarily have book length manuscripts, that may not have been published as of yet but are trying. But still. It feels a little discouraging. Not saying that those that have worked hard on long manuscripts and been successful shouldn't have some formal recognition. Because of course they deserve it. It's a long process. Often debilitating, driving you to drink on more than one occasion. But when you're struggling to believe in yourself, to believe that you actually deserve the title or distinction but you haven't actually completed it, there are groups telling you that you in fact don't deserve it.

Probably just me taking too much to heart. And I do feel that I am writer even if I don't have as many credits as some of these other writers.


  1. You ARE a writer. We all are in our own right. I always wanted to write. To be revered as such. I imagined I would become successful posthumously, and that my dreams of journalistic super stardom were not going to happen in my breathing years. But I started to blog, and people started to relate to me, people from all walks of life, in all corners of the world. I had been published minisculy, but this was far more real. I was able to KNOW that I touched people. That people were reading my thoughts and prose. It IS empowering.

  2. I believe in you. Should you never get that book done, you are still my favorite author. ~Shelly

  3. I believe in you! Should you never publish that book, you are still my favorite author. ~Shelly


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