When to call yourself a writer

I’ve heard many times that you can’t call yourself a writer unless you have published a book or written a million words. But is that a true fact? What is it that defines us as being writers and when can we identify ourselves as writers?

With any craft there comes a point where you need to learn to identify yourself with that craft. You’re not just someone who plays music, you’re a musician. You’re not just someone who paints, you’re a painter. So it goes without saying; even if you only occasionally write, you are a writer.

That’s when you should call yourself a writer, from the very beginning. No adjectives attached. No ‘aspiring’ writer or ‘planning’ on being a writer. Identify yourself with the craft and then live up to the name. I know it can be hard, especially if you don’t always see yourself in that title but making your craft a part of who you are is one of the best things that you can do.

I had a big break through with identifying myself as a writer today. My first order of business cards arrived in the mail!

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It’s amazing how much you can identify yourself, professionally, with a small piece of cardboard. But nevertheless, finding my business cards in the mail was good to clarify who I was as a writer. It also helped me to realise how real everything I’ve been doing is. From my blog to my studies, one piece of card summed it all up and that’s the power of a business card; it’s not just a business card it’s a summary of your craft.

Everyone struggles with defining themselves once they start out in a new career or craft but being able to identify yourself with that craft is what will make all the difference. That’s what makes it a personal vocation instead of a tiresome job. Do you identify yourself with your craft or are you waiting on confirmation from others? Because you might be waiting a while.

-Chris Gutteridge

 

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