Thursday, October 27, 2011

So You Think You're a Writer?

Yeah, I do.

Writer: One who writes, especially as an occupation. ~American Heritage Dictionary

A writer is a person who produces literary content, including but not limited to stories, poetry, music and other literary art, advertising, procedures, and books. Writers are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to Development Executives. ~Wikipedia

Definition of WRITER: one that writes. ~Merriam Webster
Writer - Definition
Though anyone who creates a written work may be called a writer, the term is usually reserved for those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms.

(Monday, October 31st) ~Interestingly enough, Rachael Harrie's 
Rachael Harrie's Blog Building Campaign has come to an end. I read on another campaigner's blog Jessica Therrien that she was joining Juliana Brandt's Warm Fuzzies Blog Fest It seems appropriate (and much needed!) to join in the fun, seeing as I just had my writer's cheek slapped something awful. The blog fest begins with telling a story about telling someone you're a writer and their reaction, good or bad. I hope this suffices...

So, You Think You're a Writer?
Recently, I was literally punched in the gut by something a family member said about my writing. It was second-hand information, but it hurt nonetheless. She said she was disappointed that I'd decided to pursue my writing career, because I wouldn't ever really do anything with it anyhow. I was always picking up new projects, procrastinating, and then never finishing the job. She also said it was a complete waste of my time.

I've always wanted to be a writer. Always. A couple of years back, I made the decision to do something with a few pieces I'd written. This particular person seemed genuinely sincere as she cheered me on. Little did I know she was mocking me behind my back.

Knowing I made myself vulnerable to her and looked to her for support is what hurts the most.

After I heard this, I fought to choke back the nail-studded lump in my throat. The tears flowed despite the fact that my eyes were squeezed shut. My heart shattered in a thousand pieces.

The harsh words came from someone who claims to love me. Obviously, not. After my crying fit, I dried my tears, blew my nose, and promised myself to not let her get me down. The interesting thing, is I've always written something since she and I met over 20 years ago. I guess in her opinion, if I'm not on the bestseller list, I'm not a success. 

Clearly, from the definitions of a "writer" above, I am a writer. How do I know this? Well, to put it simply, I write.

To all of you out there, struggling day to day to find the encouragement to keep writing, this post is for you. It doesn't matter what anyone else in the world says, even if it is a family member. If you put a pen to paper, you are a writer. Remember to stay true to who and what you are. 
True success is in the heart and mind of the beholder.

Big Hugs & Write on!


  1. I'm really glad you're not letting her get you down. The NYT Bestseller list isn't a definitive roll call of writers or authors.

    Keep writing and keep your head high :D

  2. I love you! I've waited so long for someone to tell me that you don't need to be published to be a writer. I've told people I'm a writer and they usually respond with "What have you published?". When I tell them I haven't published anything apart from micro-fiction, I get told I'm not a writer.

    That's a very horrible thing to say! Go to the family member and tell her that you've found her nose in your business again and that you would appreciate it if she kept it on her face.

  3. Candy, tell me where to find this person and together we can come up with a tag-team story that lets her know what it's about being a writer. That being a writer takes support not tearing down.

    You keep writing and stick to it. NYT bestseller list be darned, especially since there are plenty of happy and successful writers/ authors who haven't seen hide nor hair of the NYT BS list.

    Pardon me but I just get a little perturbed when the road to publication, already difficult as it is, gets tangled with misconceptions and general statements.

  4. First, let me stop smiling from the fierce protection of Kamille and Angela!

    K.T. thanks for your words of encouragement, and you're exactly right--just because it's a bestseller, does NOT mean it's a great book or that they are a great writer! ya, too! Girl, we writers have to stick together. Support is one of the reasons I'm still writing today, probably why I did NOT let her comments slam me to the ground again (I've been down there recently!). No, it doesn't help an aspiring author to tell them they're wasting their time. Remember this, and repeat after me: A writer is someone who writes. Plain and simple.

    Angela, trust me when I say, if I could unleash my anger upon her, I would. I would actually like to choke her, but it'll get me nowhere! Thanks for being a cheerleader to my post!!!

    And, you are so right. This darn road to pub IS very bumpy, and we have to keep kicking those rocks out of our way!

    Thanks for y'alls endearing comments!

  5. That stings! So ironic that you should overhear this right after finding out such great news from the magazine your work was recently accepted to! The road with HEART is so much better than the one that is "safe" but otherwise unfulfilling. Keep strong and keep writing, m'dear!

  6. You need to tell her that before every author got published, they were a nobody and had to work to get somewhere. Everyone has to start from nothing in this industry, unless you were born famous of course.

    I so agree. Even if you're no good, if writing is something you cannot live without, you're a writer.

  7. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

    I've also received hurtful comments, but I write on. I'm glad you're positive with a strong head on your shoulders. We can't let others get us down.

  8. Writers write. That's all there is to it!

  9. Thanks for this Candy! There will always be little people out there who will be happy to rain on your parade. I just had a story published in a Chicken Soup book, which as far as I am concerned, is a good first step. My ex mother-in-law (who I love very much) said: "Only a story? I thought it was the whole book." If it was the whole book they'd gripe it should be a series. You get it, you SO get it. Hugs sistah!

  10. Elizabeth, OMG, congrats on your story publication!!! Chicken Soup, that's huge! Hugs right back at ya!

    Laura, yes, it stung. I wonder if I hadn't of received news of Sucker's acceptance, would I have bounced back so quickly. Probably not. The timing of Sucker's email couldn't have come at a more perfect, I'm getting my first YA story pubb'ed!!!

    Kamille, thanks again for your awesome support!

    Medeia, Glad to hear that the negative has not stopped your writing. :)

    Angelina...I couldn't agree more.

    Thanks for stopping by all!

  11. So sorry, Candy. I've been there, and know just how you feel. Non writers just don't get it. You know you are a writer. Sometimes just fill up a page "I am a writer. I write." to remind yourself. I teacher once assigned this as part of her creative writing course. It sounded silly at first. But I think it's a good exercise. Sometimes those are the words we need to hear to feed our soul - even if we write them ourselves!

  12. What a super, great idea! I once taped a note to my mirror that said "I'm a writer," it worked! But, I think we have to constantly remind ourselves this. Gosh knows, we writers have to pat our own back sometimes!

    Non-writer, I like that. I think when I *think* of this person, I will call her that in my mind. :))


  13. That bites! About the procrastination and new projects, etc., I don't know of any writers who have one single project they work on day and night until it is done, then go on to the next one. We all have various projects going on at the same time - and of course we have to pick up new ones and sometimes drop others that aren't working - that is how it works! Obviously, she doesn't understand the process we writers go through! Congrats on being pubbed - that is a wonderful achievement!!!! Head up girl, you rock! Jan Fischer Wade

  14. Well said, Jan! For one thing, I will be on guard the next time I'm around this person. My husband, my girls and I have a joke around the house. If we don't feel like sharing we answer questions with "Fine, nothing, fine," which means we don't want to talk about it.

    Maybe I'll give her a fine, nothing fine!

    Thanks for your sweet comments. :)

  15. Sending you big hugs! I'm so glad you're not letting it get you down. After all, what would she know, right? I'm also of the view that writers write! So keep right on writing :)



  16. Awe, hugs accepted here, Rach!!! Am feeling the love folks! Thanks :)))

  17. EWWW, what a crap comment! Family members can sometimes say the worst things. Why is that? Don't believe a word of it.

  18. I know, right! Oh, I've had a rough year with this one person, trust me, I don't believe a word. The knife still twists deep though. I just have gotten better at pulling the blade out quickly. Thanks, Catherine!

  19. Hi visiting from the Warm Fuzzies - glad to meet you and looking forward to everyone's tweets over the next few weeks. Busy trying to find a piccy for my clue to my WIP for next week's posting..

    PS have added you to my blogroll

  20. Hi, Emma! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  21. Dropping by. Been busy and out of the loop.

    Don't you just love family! For years, my mother was the only extended family who supported my writing ... sadly, she acquired a traumatic brain injury two years ago ... and, well, isn't able to express that support any longer.

    Keep on writing! As will I.

  22. I haven't received any hurtful comments yet, but that's probably because I haven't told many people about my "writing" yet. At least you were brave enough to take the risk and tell others. I salute you.

  23. Thank you, Sandwiched! I visited your blog last night. Thinking of you and yours!

    Thanks for your comments, Ken. It is tough. My critique partner and I were just discussing this today. She says when people ask her what she does, she leaves out "writer". I don't. I just throw it out there.

  24. (((hugs))) I am so sad n' sorry this happened to you~ I don't have a lot of support in my home. I am dubbed as Aliellen, Crazy and Weird. One friend told me, "One day you will grow up and get a real job". Ouch! My husband supports me, but doesn't read what I have written. Just nods his head when he sees it, even the published stuff doesn't read it. Yeah, I know about being virtual smacked...

    Thanks for an inspiring post! xo

  25. What a hurtful thing for someone to say. My husband and children are very supportive of my writing career though I'm sure they'd all like me to hit the big time.

  26. Oh, Ella! Thanks for your cyber hugs!! I sometimes feel the same way. My family is supportive, yet the only one who reads my things is my youngest daughter. She's a tough critique pal, too.

    Hi, Susan! Thanks for your sweet comment, and yes, I hope we all hit the big time. :)