From time to time I peruse writers’ chat pages and Facebook groups to read about what’s causing the latest buzz in the indie writing world. A few months ago, I happened upon a seemingly innocuous comment about what makes a person a writer. The poster indicated that a writer is simply, “someone who writes.”
I suppose that definition is technically correct, but the people on the chat page were not interested in literal definitions. Most of the posters were wondering, as I often do, what turns a person from “someone who writes” into a capital W Writer? Can you become a Writer, and pursue other professional interests? Are you a Writer, even if you produce poor writing? (I realize that my capitalization of writer is also technically incorrect, but I’m doing my best to differentiate between the “act of” and “the role or title”.)
I suppose the same question can be asked of anyone who engages in any artistic pursuit. What turns someone who writes poetry into Poet, someone who dances into Dancer, someone who runs into Runner, or someone who paints into Painter? When and how do you earn the title? Is it a function of levels of dedication? Talent? Success?
What do you think?