What Makes a Writer?

Ever since beginning the Minor in Writing I’ve suddenly become a writer. It’s not that I never considered myself to be a writer before, it’s more the fact that I never thought to categorize myself in that way. All of this casual use of the title “writer” got me thinking about what truly makes someone a writer. And like any logical person, I decided to Google the definition.

And the wonderful world of the Internet gave me three definitions. That’s helpful. Not.

Writer Definition
You’ve gotta love ambiguity sometimes.

“A person who has written a particular text”

So this pretty much means that every time my mom writes a grocery list, she is a writer. Although I like that this definition is very broad and therefore very inclusive, I can’t help but still think that declaring oneself as a writer means you have a greater purpose than just “writing a text.”

“A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation”

I’m not a huge fan of this definition either. Who says we need to get paid in order to be writers? Or that I need to write on a regular basis–as far as I know there isn’t quota I need to meet in order to be a writer. And there is definitely more to write than just books, stories and articles.

“A person who writes in a specified way”

I happen to love this definition of a writer. Yes, a writer is pretty much just someone who writes. But to me, being a writer means everything I write is with a purpose. Whether it is my word choice, tone, or organization, my writing is just that: mine. Every decision I make will alter the final product, and writing gives me the ultimate freedom to say what I want, in the way that I want.

Bravo, Google.

One thought to “What Makes a Writer?”

  1. I love this! I have also picked up on the oddity of suddenly being referred to as a writer. I am in the business school, but people seldom call me a businesswoman. Yet since joining the minor, I have suddenly become a writer.

    I thought your Google approach was funny and witty and I appreciate the definition that you chose. Makes me feel like a true writer, at last.

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