1. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    At what point did you feel you were a writer?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Genghis McCann, Oct 11, 2015.

    I don't mean "When did you decide to become a writer?" I'm looking instead for the moment when the realisation dawned that you were a real, bona fide, writer. Was it with the first story you wrote, or with the first completed book, or the first time published? I know that it is common wisdom that if you write you are a writer, but I have written a play and a book and working on another, yet I really don't feel like a writer yet.

    Is this common?
     
  2. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Like you said: "if you write you are a writer"

    I have felt like a writer ever since I can remember/since I started writing.
     
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  3. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    A couple of instances that I can think of:

    A very crochety, grouchy old teacher told me that I must not read very often because I was a crap writer. Having been reading and writing for years and years, this was a hugely crushing blow. I feel foolish admitting it now, but it shook my confidence in writing for years after the fact. I tried to stop writing altogether, but I just couldn't. So I'd write in secret, stories and short stories born and died without ever seeing another reader's eyes besides my own. When people asked if I kept up my writing, I dodged and told them of other pursuits. I felt ashamed of my writing, like it was something I should keep hidden because it was "crap."

    Eventually this shame caused me huge writer's block and I spent almost a year staring at blank pages without a word to stay. That was worse than anything, because I felt like my identity had vanished with my muse. I spent the better part of that year trying various hobbies and creative pursuits to see if I could find that spark. The more I searched, the more I hungered for the page and the pen again.

    I started a blog to document my struggles to write, and slowly it came back to me. As it did, so did my happiness. Then I read a quote by Isaac Asimov that something along the lines of: "I write for the same reason I breathe." I realized that in my soul, I am a writer. I don't need anyone to see what I write, but I needn't be ashamed of my identity either. I am a writer.

    The second instance was a couple years ago when I was hired to write professionally. Copywriting is dull compared to creative writing, but the fact that someone was willing to pay me to put words to ink was thrilling and very validating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    First and foremost I wish to challenge something you said.

    Which is "a writer wrires." While not incorrect, I feel it is misleading in its lack of clarity.

    Everyone writes, to some degree. If it is a daily activity report, such as is part of my job, or recreationally as a hobby, everyone writes.

    Yet, not everyone is a writer. So I think the term your looking for is author. Which clears up that lack of clarity.

    When did I feel I was an author? I could anwser that with a few different moments of my life.

    One, when I was seventeen. I always discussed stories, and ideas and tried to fix or expand from what I viewed. So around this time someone suggested I try and write my own. Which is the moment it all began.

    Though, I was a horrible student in english and as such did not yet attempt to write. I did think and develop stories though. Many of which are still in my mind, almost 8 years later.

    I didn't begin writing until about 4 years ago and I didn't get any good until about last year. Though, not to mislead, I am still not any good, at least not by any real standards. Godly compared to my teenage self though.

    I also have written a book, even if unpublished and i would want to say that is the time I realized that I was an author. Not because I had made a book though, but because I had realized that I know I will never be able to stop. Writing stories is to ingrained into who I am now. I couldn't abandon it, even if I tried.

    I hope my story helps you in some way. :)
     
  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have never felt I was a "writer" and I never want to. All I ever want to be is some guy who wrote some books that a lot of people read and enjoyed. That in addition to a computer scientist / software developer / hacker and maybe mathematician if I find a research area that interests me enough to dedicate myself to it.
     
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  6. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Author is actually the incorrect term. As an author is a write who has been published.

    Author: a person who writes books as a profession.

    Where as a writer is, I guess if you wish to get more specific with the definition, one who writes for pleasure.
     
  7. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    As defined by whom?
     
  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you are mistaken. I do not believe the term author requires payment. I mean, author can refer to articles.

    On a forum, I once wrote a strategy guide article. So I was the author of said article. Right? Even if the article being published on the forum didn't earn me any money.

    As opposed to lets say my activity report. I wouldn't say I am the author of my activity report. I would say I completed a form. Or if I wrote a note for my room mate. I don't think saying I was the author of the note makes as much sense.
     
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  9. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you referring to the following paragraph?
    That refers to the verb "author", not to the noun. As in, "he has authored a dozen books on the subject" vs "he authored a grocery list".
     
  11. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    No. I didn't even read that. I'm talking about the listed definition.
     
  12. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Mainly 1:
    a. The write of a book, article, or other text.
    b. One who practices writing as a profession.
     
  13. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you are confusing multiple definitions with multi-part definitions. Imagine an "or", not an "and", between definition a and definition b.

    That is, "author" could refer to someone who writes a text, or it could refer to someone who writes professionally.
     
  14. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    You do realize that is a multi-part definition right?
     
  15. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nope, they are two different definitions. That is why they are separate list items.
     
  16. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again: nope. They are a and b because they are related to each other.
     
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  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. I looked up the definition of "seed" and got:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/seed

    1.
    a.
    A mature plant ovule containing an embryo.
    b. A small dry fruit, spore, or other propagative plant part.
    c. Seeds considered as a group: a farmer buying seed.
    d. The seed-bearing stage of a plant: The grass is in seed.

    These are clearly "or" definitions, not a combined "and" definition.

    Edited to add: Further examples can be found in the definitions of "fruit", "fur", "garden", or "shoe".
     
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  18. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I want to say I started writing with intent when I was in junior high. Late 90s, early 2000s.

    My best friend had discovered a little vampire series and when she let me borrow the books, I discovered a whole other universe to play in. What really inspired me was that the author was 14 at the time -- just like us. I remember just being totally floored by that.

    Instantly, I had a new role-model. This was the coolest god damn shit I'd ever seen, and there was no age gap or education landmark separating us. It was just, "Hey. Look at this thing that's possible." and the wheels were put into motion.


    When I started trying to be like her. I found such joy in writing that it consumed me whole; at that age I didn't care about editing or publishing or impressing anybody, I was writing because it was fun. Edit to add: The more I wrote, the more ideas I had; the more ideas, the more I wrote. Once I started I could not stop.


    Perhaps you haven't found your soul-story yet. Y'know... a soul mate. Except it's a story. ...Or an author maybe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  19. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    When I'm writing every day, I see myself as a writer. When I'm going through one of my dry periods and I'm not writing, I don't. But even when I do see myself as a writer, I always make the distinction to myself that I'm not doing it professionally - not until I start making money from it.

    Regardless of how other people may define the words, I see "author" and "novelist" as titles for those of us who have published their work. And as titles I'd like to claim one day soon, myself.
     
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  20. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Neither had I! :bigeek:
     
  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pictures of Picard do not an argument make.
     
  22. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I don't feel like a writer, yet. Maybe when I get this book done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
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  23. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    Thanks for the replies. There were several comments that resonated with me:

    A few years ago I shared with "Mrs Genghis" the fact that I was trying to write a play. She looked up from her book - she's a voracious reader of real writers.
    "Oh, so you've decided on a vanity project?", she replied.
    I don't think I'm particularly oversensitive, but I felt as if she had put her hand through my chest, grasped my heart and squeezed. So I didn't discuss my writing with her after that, even going to the point of switching windows when she comes into the computer room. I'm sure she thinks I'm watching porn.:) My wife's reaction is not much different from others I've had when trying to share that I'm trying to write. Polite interest, then a switching of the subject.

    That's my feeling too. That I'm not a real writer until I'm "any good".

    I feel like a writer too when I'm writing. Also I feel it when I'm thinking of a storyline ar a particular character, which usually happens at night in bed or early in the morning. Yet once the story is finished I feel as if I've abandoned it like an unwanted baby on the steps of an orphanage. In fact I have an entire orphanage of unwanted stories that will never get a happy home.......

    Sorry Imaginarily. I somehow deleted the quote and couldn't get it back, but it related to not finding my "soul-mate" story yet. You could be right, because I don't even know whether I'm writing in the correct genre, but I have a sense of identity with my characters and am starting to care where they are going, so I think I'm on the right track.
     
  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Um...just a few months ago when I realized for the first time how excited I was about the world building, the outlining and exploring my character's motivations. How I had the power to write or not write anything I wanted, how driven I was to answer "...and then what happened?" when doing the outline for the stories.

    *sees the join date on his profile*

    Yes, I am a slow person sometimes. :confuzled::whistle:
     
  25. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Ouch. Yeah, that would be hard to hear. I don't think writing is vanity, unless you fancy yourself the greatest writer who ever lived. Still, I totally get what you mean about acting like you're watching porn. I'm terrified that anyone will see my writing before I want them to see it (leftover insecurity from my time of shame, I suppose) so if I'm working on a project and someone comes into the room, even if it's my husband who is supportive, I have to quickly switch to a different window. I somehow feel that if they read a piece of it out of context, as I'm writing it, they'll think it's trite. I'd had to be trite.
     

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