What it Means to be a Writer

Right now I’m at a convention for future med school students. No, I’m not looking to be in a medical career, I’m here solely to support my husband who is going to med school next year.

My first thought is how jealous I am of all these super intelligent people who have the brains to actually pursue such a challenging career. I start to wonder if writing will bring purpose to my life like being a doctor would. 

It’s easy for us writers to get in a slump when it comes to comparing our career choice to other’s. If you don’t have a book published already, it can be easy for people to underestimate your talents and assume you’re just a dreamer. You start to feel silly. You start questioning your career choice. You start seeing the negative side to being an author and start wondering if this career decision has purpose and meaning like a doctor or a dentist or a lawyer has. 

If you look at writing and books at a glance, it’s easy to feel like it’s not that big of a deal. But if you delve into writing and books, you start to see the inspiration. You remember that one book that saved your life when your parents were going through a divorce. That one book that kept you from killing yourself. That book that helped you achieve your goals faster. The book that inspired you to take a journey of self-discovery. 

Sure there’s shallowness in some writing; but then again, there’s shallowness in every vocation. If you look at the bigger picture, you realize this career choice is actually quite rewarding. You realize it’s a career where you can raise your voice in bigger issues that matter, you can influence lives with your words, you can inspire and motivate the next inventor, musician, best-selling novelist. You can make people believe in magic again. You hold power over readers and have the chance to influence change. So if you’re starting to second guess your choice of career as a writer, don’t! Being a writer is magical. Many like to think they could do it, but it takes balls and guts to face this much failure and rejection and still keep pursuing it. 

If this is your love, then don’t let doctors and political science majors intimidate you. Show them what it means to be a writer. Be proud of your accomplishments and your talents. Prove people wrong and let them see that being a writer is far more than getting words on a page. Being a writer is about change, influence, motivation, magic, beauty, depth and darkness. Over all, it’s about touching people’s lives through the magic of words and bringing people to their knees in awe of a story unfolding in unexpected ways. It’s about making a difference with your words and bringing people together through the power of your story. 

Be proud, fellow writers. Be proud of your career choice and gladly share it with the world. You’re pretty darn special. 

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12 thoughts on “What it Means to be a Writer

  1. This is a wonderful post. I can relate to feeling silly. I have been asked why I spend so much time doing something that probably won’t get me anywhere. I used to get defensive about it, but now I just smile because if I have to explain it to them, then they won’t understand it anyway.

  2. Great words! I have NEVER been ashamed to be a writer…ever. As a failed musician, I needed a way to express myself artistically. I found my muse in writing. Though there was always the thought of one day getting published so others might enjoy what I wrote, my prime motivation has always been just to write. Period. Others reading it has always been second. This is a passion, NOT a hobby. As well, it’s a calling. When I discovered my muse, I couldn’t stop, didn’t want to stop. Now that I AM published, I surely enjoy when someone gives positive feedback, but that’s not the ultimate payoff. Creating what I write is. Guess what? I just created something in this reply!

    As for rejection and criticism, I’ve more than had my share of mean and downright nasty feedback and discouragement. You have to have a tough skin if someone other than your self ever reads what you do…if you ever try to present your work to the world.

    If someone thinks that is trivial compared to other professions/hobbies/passions, bullshit. It’s just a different focus, a different form of expression. Is it saving lives, or saving the world? Is it worthy of some higher purpose? It all depends on the writing, who reads it and what they get out of it.

    In most cases, we’re not professionals and do this either as a sideline, hobby, passion or whatever. If we happen to affect other people in a positive way, great. That doesn’t make us better or more inadequate than anyone else. We are just doing what we do.

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Pingback: The wonder woman tag! – light up the shining night stars

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