This is for all of you out there who love to write, but feel that you’re not considered, by yourself or by others, to be a REAL writer because you haven’t — dare I say it — published. I can’t tell you how many times a person has discovered that I’m a writer, then says something to the effect, “I write, too, but I haven’t published anything, so I guess I’m not a real writer.”
My quick reply: “Hey, not true!”
Writing and publishing are solely related on the basis of cause and effect: publishing (in any format) isn’t possible, by definition, unless there is writing to print. However, at its very core, writing is an art form with inherent meaning and validity. By extrapolation. as with any art form, the person producing the art doesn’t need to have the product of their efforts publicly displayed to be considered an artist, whether they be painter, photographer, singer, instrumentalist or writer.
The best example I can put forward in support of this argument is journal writing. Many people keep personal journals. They may make entries everyday or every week or intermittently, but they write. Most of these personal journals will never be shared with another person, let alone published for general consumption. But, I believe if we were to get a peek at these pages we’d find that, not only is the person growing and maturing as an individual over time, but they are growing and maturing as a writer, as well — learning through doing, honing and refining their ability to express themselves through the written word.
And, that is what a writer does.
So, if you’re writing because you love it and are gratified to see your thoughts come to life on the page (even if that page is the screen on your word processor), and you strive to craft better ways of expressing yourself in the art medium of words, sentences and paragraphs, then you are a writer – yes, a real writer, in every definition of the word.