March 9, 2011

on being "a writer."

Recently I was introduced as a writer. A writer.

This shouldn't have surprised me, really, considering I am a writer--considering I've done it all my life, considering I do it every day, considering I'm exactly three months away from a Masters in Writing and Publishing. But it did surprise me, it really did. Because it's one thing for people to acknowledge that writing is what you do--it's another thing for them to acknowledge that writing is what you are. 

Truth is, I've never felt totally comfortable calling myself a writer because it felt presumptuous and bold--like a med student calling themselves a doctor. But I suppose the arts are different, aren't they? There's no test to become a writer, no certificate to say you're a dancer, no diploma to prove you're a musician. If you sing, you're a singer. If you paint, you're a painter. You just are. And there are certainly different degrees to these things, a distinction between someone who jots a few poems in their diary and someone with a tall stack of published works--but still, they're both writers.

So yes, I'm a writer. I was a writer throughout my childhood when I kept a daily journal. I was a writer in college when I started to blog. And I'm a writer now, with a degree coming soon and a humble handful of published stories to my name. 

It's just, well, hopefully I've become a better writer since my grade school journaling days. 
... Although, to be fair, I did document some seriously riveting cafeteria gossip.

(Photo: Caiti Borruso)

12 comments:

vintch said... [Reply to comment]

i love this. it's so true and beautiful. art is so wonderful because it originates in the soul, where no diploma or certificate can reach. and you are certainly a lovely, lovely writer.

Laura said... [Reply to comment]

I love your idea of writing as what you are. Of all the things that I love to do, writing takes the cake. It allows me to incorporate all those other things that are a part of me and is a fundamental part of who I am. I really love this post and can kind of relate - though I'm by no means published, I was paid to write a few posts for a wedding blog and my mom continually introduced me as a writer for the weeks following that. I resisted at first but then realized that, though writing isn't my profession, it is who and what I am. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

steph anne said... [Reply to comment]

Haha, cafeteria gossip! You're an awesome writer. I always wrote in LiveJournal back in the old days and it's fun to go back and read some of the things I wrote.

Victoria said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! I think its wonderful you can express yourself so well through writing! Im new to the blog world and new to following you, but I think you are a beautiful writer and I really enjoy reading your blog!
http://vlm2607.blogspot.com/

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

You definitely are a writer - you can see it in the beauty of your prose!

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

That's pretty awesome to be introduced like that. Even if you felt like a writer, and are a writer, to be introduced as one probably makes it seem more real.
Although it is cool that you don't really need a degree to BE a writer. I'm just saying that because one, it's true, and two, I don't have a degree and so it's cool for me to say that I'm something even if I can't prove it. Hehe.
Love that picture of the typewriter!

Heidiopia said... [Reply to comment]

Yes, you ARE a writer-- also an artist with words. :)

emily janette said... [Reply to comment]

i'm a long time stalker coming out right here. but i can't help it.

that paragraph about the arts. just BEING something, without any sort of anything to prove. beautiful. your writing, is beautiful.

Fash Boulevard said... [Reply to comment]

OMG. I love your blog. My name's Anna, I'm a stylist and visual merchandiser in LA. I'm 23 years old and moved to California after graduating back in south with a degree in visual merchandiser. I've worked with such designers as Max Azria, Nicole Richie, and my idol Rachel Zoe. I'd love if you visited my new blog for multiple posts a day on all things fashion. I'd love the support. I'm following you, I hope you'll do the same. Thanks so much.

www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

You're an awesome writer! Definitely a title you should embrace : )

sparkleandspice said... [Reply to comment]

You are absolutely a writer, and an amazing one at that! All the other blogs I read are about fashion or weddings, but I love reading your blog because of your beautiful writing style. Thanks for the daily inspiration! :)
Lisa

Brandy Lehmann said... [Reply to comment]

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