What does it mean to be a writer?

What does it even mean to be a writer? Because as of now I call myself that without having a clue of what it entails. Is it possible to want to write and to enjoy the act without the label?

It wasn’t until I came to college that I felt the need to write. The subject never felt valuable for me, it just felt required—to get through school and applications and standardized tests, as if it was only going to be needed for this one stage in life and then I’d move on. I wanted to move on. But as the times changed, my priorities did as well. I feel like my newfound want and need to write is a sign that I’ve grown up, that I’ve unlocked this whole new level to life and found something of relevance and significance, something to give me a purpose and the world around me a meaning.

But, as much as I feel like I’ve discovered a new passion and a new desire and a new connection to this subject, I still question my ability to carry the label of “writer”. I didn’t spend my childhood reading books upon books or writing down every curious and clever thought I coined in my head. I didn’t journal everyday—I still don’t journal everyday. I don’t have a favorite author or book or genre of writing and story telling and I don’t have that traditional want or need to write that labeled writers seem to have. My fingers don’t tingle to grab a pen or type up a story or create something new. I don’t even know what that feels like or if I’ll ever experience it.

What I do know is that words have been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Whether it be the dialogue of a character, a quote from a movie, conversations I’ve had in person, messages I’ve read via text and email, an article I read online, the speeches I heard through time, or through books, stories, and poetry, words have had a profound influence on me. They have taught me so much. And they have provided me with the knowledge, insight, outlet, power, and most importantly, the motivation to make a difference. They have given me the means to make change.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a writer as of now, but I do know that I have an enormous love for words. And this love is what has driven me to pursue a minor in writing and to never stop appreciating the subject. It’s what has led me to see writing as an art and proficiency in the field as a talent. And maybe (hopefully) someday, I’ll carry the label as well.

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