Thursday, April 18, 2013

What it Means to Be a Writer

I was thinking of what to write about today and it occurred to me that being a writer means I need to always have ideas swirling inside my brain; ideas that can turn into a blog post, a short story or even a novel.

Being a writer isn't always easy. Besides the creativity kick, a writer also has to be constantly learning and improving their craft. Sometimes they have to say no to an event so that they can finish their project. Sometimes they have to wait a long time to publish their book.

Photo by: Speaking Latino, courtesy of Flickr
Often, much labor and money goes into writing before the writer has even published. And once published, there is always the waiting game for the next time, and the next, and the next.

For those who don't really understand writers, they may feel as if writers should get a "real" job, and that writers are only writing for fun anyway.

But what if we aren't? What if there is something deep inside of us that demands that we write?

I say this, because I have this aching need to write every day. Like eating, if I forget to write, even if it's only for 15 minutes, I feel as if something is missing in my heart as well as my life. If I don't write I feel terrible. If I write...

Photo by: Lynda Sanchez, courtesy of Flickr
Well, you get my drift.

I'd like to think that writers are not only creative, but that they are good business people too. What about keeping track of sales on a spread sheet, or keeping organized by recording where you've sent off your manuscript and to whom?

Writers can't just be writers. They must be book keepers, speakers, great interviewees, and more. They must KNOW how to market, they must know what makes a truly great book signing.

Writers are people too, but it's only in the million dollar sales bracket that authors often get any credit. So what does that mean for he rest of us?

We need to help each other. We need to trust that if we help another writer, that this assistance will only cause some great connections, not take away a possible sale. We need to be open to positive feedback when we get it, and not take it too internally when negative feedback comes are way.

But most of all we need to be writers, no matter when that first paycheck comes.


  1. Kathryn, I think you have echoed the heartfelt thoughts of most writers out there. Many people see writers as lazy and unmotivated, when in fact most of us work harder than the average Jane or Joe, without even knowing when that first paycheck will come in. Thank you so much for posting this.

  2. Thank you for your comments, Angela. Writers are hardworking AND motivated. If we weren't, we'd never get a book completed; something many people talk about but never do.


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