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?