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So, you say I'm not a writer

There seems to be a stigma in our culture that dictates 'if you're not published then you're not a writer'. This is only through traditional means of publishing houses and agents- forget self published- they don't count.

Here's my thing- it's my opinion, and as a writer I do have a valid one, this is akin to narrow-minded thinking. You are dismissing someone's potential because it doesn't meet your concept of what a writer is.

I speak from personal experience and I have many friends who have taken the route of self-publishing. Many are much happier with this decision than having gone with an agent / publishing house.

If you have the passion, the determination, and the fortitude to write- not to mention the imagination it takes- then become a writer. If it's all you can think about, not just the mechanics but the vision, that over-active imagination that creates countless characters and seemingly endless scenarios- then, my friend, take a shot at being a writer.

Don't worry about those people who tell you to give it up, that unless you're published you're not a writer. If you're self-published then you're not really published. These are the folk who- on the subject of your writing- first ask: "what have you published?" Then if you admit that you haven't been yet, they get a scowl on their face. Some are brazen enough to say "then you're not a writer." Sometimes I want to smack these people up the backside of their head (Gibbs smack) or pull a Stephanie Tanner- with a huff, saying "how rude."

Never let someone discount you because you have yet to see your work published or chose to go with self-publishing. If you have a story (or stories) to tell and you have been working on them- then you are a writer.

I mentioned earlier that I speak from experience. I have had several people in my lifetime tell me "you're not a writer" because I wasn't published or was considering self-publishing.

At this point, I have over 60 works in progress, have a counted 500,000+ words written among various projects- this includes novels, fan-fiction, fan-lit, blog posts, and academic papers. Writing is my passion, it's what drives me. There have been times when my imagination was in overdrive that I could not sleep until the muse was done with me.

No, I'm not published- YET. The day is coming and for the moment I'm undecided if I'll go with a publishing house, an agent, or self-publish. I just know that it will happen.

The day will come when people will walk by a major bookstore and see my book, or yours, or someone else's one of us knows - and we'll smile. Not because it's there but because we'll remember the asshole who said "you're not a writer."


people will always pigeon hole you..it a comfort thing and also away of trying to chip away at your confidence...
I can relate - I remember a former colleague who came by my office for a visit. I told him I was writing a novel - he didn't say anything, but he had a smirk on his face that said "you foolish nitwit" without him saying a word. A few others haven't been so kind, but it didn't keep me from trying. Keep writing.
Well, if beauty could sell, ma'am, you'd be a bestseller. Well, it can, but it's called prostitution. You can always whore yourself by writing some pop-culture novel about vampires who give a hicky to the neck rather than a bite. But I take it you don't want to do that. Just saying. Not sure your genre. I like Stephen King, so I a not knocking popular fiction (it has to be written well), but I do have in mind some hack writers. Better to not be published than to sell yourself short. There is an esoteric meaning to the movie Misery:he wrote a pop novel about some 19th century chick named Misery. It sold well, so he wrote a whole sentimental series, and look what happened:


His says to his agent near the end that he never intended Misery to become his life. That's happens to you if you sell yourself. You get your feet bashed by a crazy woman with a sledge hammer.

Happy writing. Break a pencil!
I wrote my last vampire story several years ago- I'm over and done with that lot of leaches, shape-shifters as well. IMO the market is saturated with these types of stories and writers have bastardized both lores. So, I'm done with them.
60 works in progress... 500k words written...but nothing published? It may be a silly argument of syntax, but the core criticism is understandable.

Well, being a writer is a cheap title. Becoming an accomplished writer...a master writer. I'd put more value in these.
A lot of that word count comes from course papers with Long Ridge Writer's Group and Western Iowa Tech Community College and Fan-Lit. My guilty pleasure in writing.

The cruel irony is that as long as I'm NOT working on a project intended for publication- then people leave me alone about my writing. The moment I start in with these projects that's when the negativity starts. So, in other words- so long as it's for academics or just for fun, the people in my life are okay with me writing- the moment it switches to even considering publication, that's when the gloves come off.

In short that core criticism is nothing more than bullying.

I'm sick of it.

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