Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Words are such amazing things—tricky, too.  The very fact that we've used these arbitrary symbols to create such a complex system of communication is fascinating.  Language seems so simple now, right?

And wonderful.  How do you feel when someone utters three easy words, "I love you?"
Except think of the trouble words get us into.  The misunderstanding, the confusion, the anger. 
One of the first things people do when trying to belittle someone is to call them names—to attempt to re-define the other person. A key strategy in controlling others is to manage their language and how they are defined.

Any way we label a person, place, situation, thing, idea, etc. limits how others will view it.  That's true even if it's labels we give ourselves.  How many words do you use to define yourself?  My "twitter" definitions says I am a "wife, mom, college professor, travel planner-extraordinaire, and wanna-be-middle-grade writer." 

What would it mean to move from wanna-be to "writer?"  When is it okay to define yourself as a writer?  Obviously, this isn't a question limited to writing, but as it's the first Wednesday and the month, it seemed like an appropriate topic for the Insecure Writer's Group.

In this case, I think I equate using the label as a definition with being successful at it, not just the act of doing the writing.  That's not something we do with everything right?  I'm a mom even if I'm not a very good one (and I think I'm okay there). 

This is a little nudge to us all that as upset as we can get at the labels others put on us, the ones use on ourselves can be just as problematic. 

Writers, when are you willing to call yourself one? 


  1. We are writers when we write. Period. If you are sitting at the page on a consistent basis, you are a writer. I've written multiple books that haven't found a big audience, but it's the time, the energy, the study of craft that makes me a writer.

  2. I'm emaginette = imagine + it. I had to tweak the spelling because of anothers handle. I created this persona so I could participate in the writer's blogosphere and stay safe. Slowly I came out from behind the curtain. I am a writer and have been since I was a teen. Feel free to call yourself what ever you like.

    The labels begin with you.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  3. So true. We writers don't feel like we're real writers until they have an agent and/or published. But if we're writing, we're writers. It doesn't matter whether we're published or not. I have "writer" on my bio, because that's what I do.
    For what it's worth, people call themselves artists and musicians when they aren't "published" yet. Why can't we do the same?

  4. If you write, you're a writer. Plain & simple. We should be proud of that.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #95

  5. We are definitely writers as soon as we write. I think if we are managing a blog we can definitely be considered professional writers. Claim it!