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.
“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.