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  1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    What makes a writer a writer?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Link the Writer, Aug 1, 2015.

    Confession time, folks! I love writing in my journal. My personal journal, that literally no one but me shall see. In it, I write down everything from deep, philosophical topics to random, silly things like llamas on the moon wearing moon suits. Now, while I do sit down and write my journals, I do this knowing that no, this is not a fiction book, and no, I don't intend for this to ever see light of day.

    My question for you illustrious folks is this: does a person who disciplines him/herself to writing a single thing day in a day out (a journal, a blog, etc.) that isn't a story, or a non-fiction piece of work, have the right to consider him/herself a writer? What makes a writer, a writer in your mind? If all Stephen King did was write in his personal journals all day, every day; made it a habit, made it a discipline, would he still be a writer even if he had never published a single book in his life? Yet to some people, a writer isn't a writer unless he/she has written a fiction/non-fiction to the end; or had published said work.

    So what makes a writer a writer? Does any of us have the right to say who is the writer and who is not? In my mind, if you discipline yourself to sit down and write/type something every frickin' day, on what's more than a simple grocery list, then you're a writer.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    If you write everyday (or most everyday) and consider it a passion or a hobby then you're a writer on some level even if it isn't your main love. But I think you still count as one even if not as much.

    If you are published and have your work out there then you're an author. I love writing and it is my main passion but I'm not published yet, I consider myself a writer and hopefully will be an author soon, very soooooooon.

    But that's just my two cents.

    I'm sure there are plenty other ways of looking at it.

    But I'm far to prideful and in love with the art form to consider myself nothing but. ;)
     
  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    A "writer" in what sense? The sense that you would answer "I am a writer" when asked "what do you do for a living?" The sense that, by writing something significant, you have earned the right to call yourself a "writer" which is important because that title distinguishes you from all the other people who have not earned that right? The sense that your place in society neatly fits into the "writer" box?

    I do not often use the term "writer" or "author" when referring to a person per se. "_____ is an author" does not mean very much to me, but "_____ is the author of _____" is meaningful because the piece of writing is what we really care about anyway. "_____ is the author of _____" is more relevant as a tidbit about the piece of writing than as a biographical fact about the person.

    So if we ever wonder whether to call ourselves "writers" or "authors", I guess what we should do is think "I am the author of _____", fill in the blank, and decide for ourselves whether the phrase "a writer" legitimately describes whoever happens to have been the one to write whatever goes in the blank.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  4. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Llamas with hats. That was my immediate thought.



    He's not published, but I consider the author of those videos a writer.
     
  5. LolCasanova
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    LolCasanova New Member

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    I do consider myself a writer but I wouldn't use it to describe my job. If asked after my job, I'm a dishwasher :D I consider myself a writer in my head, the same way I consider myself an amateur photographer/baker/other hobbies etc, but I wouldn't actually tell people I was a writer, in response to 'what do you do?', until I had something in print. But in my head I can be who I want :D.
     
  6. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    I think your example of putting words down everyday definitely count as writing. It doesn't matter who your audience is, or what your motivation is, you're writing for the sake of writing which is pretty admirable.
    Also someone who writes just grocery list could totally be a writer. Imagine the book, grocery list for famous moments, fictional and otherwise. Chapter 1: The red Wedding -sharp knives.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's one of those things you can't define but you know it when you see one (or are one).
     
  8. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    What makes a writer a writer is that they write. I don't see that it matters what they write, or who it's for. It just matters that you've got some compulsion, personal or professional, to put words onto paper.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The author/writer distinction seems strange to me sometimes. Maybe because I work with copyrights, where you're considered an "author" of what you wrote, published or not, and agreements often refer to "authors" whether the work is published or not. Also, dictionaries present author and writer as synonyms. If you wrote a story, it is proper to say you authored it. One definition of author refers to the "originator" of a work, which would apply to anyone who wrote the work, regardless of publishing status.
     
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  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    This is particularly comforting for software developers :D
     
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  11. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I don't drink enough to consider myself a writer.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    So that's why people started calling me a writer when I was first went to university.
     
  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question: I'm at a cocktail party. A beautiful blonde approaches me and asks me what I do. I clean floors for the New York Stock Exchange. I tell her I work on Wall Street. Am I being honest?
     
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  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    A beautiful redhead approaches me at a party and asks what I do, I spert something incomprehensible out and spend the rest of the night in the bathroom crying.

    Would I say I'm a writer? I'd try to say I was something interesting, like a really cool space guy.
     
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  15. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    A detritus relocation expert?

    There are two levels here - the literal and the understood concept of working on Wall Street. Yes, you are being honest on the literal level. But your clearly misleading description to get into the thong of the blond says it's a duplicitous kind of honesty.

    Mind you. The blond is in fact a brunette, and when you get back to her place, she removes her dress and loses 4 breast sizes as her overly padded bra comes off.

    So meh. Duplicite away, I say.
     
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  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This guy is a famous Indian novelist.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You say 'This guy' like you don't know who that is. :p
     
  18. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't. But I sure know who the girl is.
     
  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I have no idea who the girl is. But I sure know who Salman Rushdie is.

    ... there are two types of people in this world, 123. :D
     
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  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Um, what's the story behind the scar on her arm?
     
  21. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    She was the host of Top Chef. Maybe an accident?
     
  22. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look. Let's not get distracted by the girl.

    The point is, every time you tell someone you are a writer, you are essentially telling them you are Salman Rushdie.
     
  23. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Eh, it's better than telling people you're a gamer. Then they imagine you sitting in your mama's basement with no job stuffing yourself with cheetos while leveling up your female elf chick.

    Aaaah stereotypes. :>
     
  24. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    "I have to go on a date with who!? Seriously!?"
     
  25. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't know, but I started coming up with this long rambling story about her being the sole survivor of a terrible incident involving aliens that wiped out a fictional small town in Canada.

    It was a fun story I made up for myself based on your post.
     
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