Every once in a while there are posts on various blogs about how to be a “real writer.” Some of them are in jest, some of them stand by a need to be publishing in order to be a writer, and others seek to debunk that claim. Personally, I don’t think you need to be published to be considered a “real” writer. All you need to do is write. There are plenty of people who sit around talking about writing and expressing their desire to begin writing, but the only way to distinguish yourself as a “real” writer is to sit down and put down the words. As long as you are in the process of writing something, then you are a writer.
Recently I found a quote on Goodreads from Neil Gaiman about the act of writing, and identity as a writer. In the quote, Gaiman says: “I’m writing. The pages are starting to stack up. My morale is improving the more I feel like a writer.”
I love this quote and I think it describes the same way I feel when I’m in the midst of writing something. Whether you’re seeing pages stack up, or pages whiz by on your Word document, making progress in your writing is a great feeling. And making that progress will make you feel more like a writer because you’re creating more and producing more. When you have a document on your computer or a binder full of paper, it’s also easier to tell people that you’re a writer, because you’ve actually done some writing.
So I guess the advice I want to impart in this post is to take the leap and get started on a writing project. Or, if you’ve already begun and are stalled in the middle, get back to it! It can be difficult to sit down and actually perform the act of writing, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel better and more motivated once you’ve sat down and done the deed. Happy writing!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan