writeonwednesday…hot august dayz

August 7, 2008 § 5 Comments

Becca’s questions this week ask:  Do you consider yourself a writer? Do you think blogging is “real writing?” What does it take to be a “real writer”?



Here is an exaggerated example of why I hesitate to say I’m a writer (at a party or something).


“And what do you do, Oh?” 

“I’m a writer.”

 “Really. How exciting. What have you written?”

 “A variety of things – stories, feature articles, tech manuals, business profiles, book reviews….”

 “Yes, yes, but anything that I’ve read?”

 “I don’t know what you read.”

 “Well, name some of your books.”

 “I don’t have a book yet. (I really do, but I’m not telling this person.) So far I publish as a journalist.”

 (There is a raising of the eyebrows on my inquisitor’s face): “So, you’re the media, then…like one of those writers who tries to tell us what to think about politics, food, (insert any topic). I can’t help but think the media is most of what’s wrong with the world today.”


I smile and walk away in order that I don’t purposely spill my drink on the other person’s designer dumbass shoes.




About blogging:

Yes, seriously, blogging is writing.

It’s an exercise AND an end product.

It’s writing practice. It’s also learning and practicing writing that other people might read.


While for some blogging may be whining in public, for so many others, it is full of personality, real life, sharing info and tips and honestly, for me, with it comes the realization that there are many, many excellent writers out there. That is, people whose blogs you want to return to in order to see what happens next, or what’s on their minds, or what caught their attention and became deserving of a write up.

Yes, blogging is writing. It is communicating our universal and personal experience.


What does it take to be a real writer?

Wow. I guess that means writing every day.

Making it one’s priority, whether or not it is accompanied by financial gain.

Whether or not anyone else knows about it.

When I sit down to write (the stuff I write at home, the real stuff, not the corporate tech stuff), I always think about the fact that this is what I REALLY love doing – writing. Like a runner gets all those endorphins when they break through their running wall, I get them when I’m at my desk, looking out at the leafy canopy beyond my window and start typing.

Yet if you stick me at a party and someone asks me “What do you do?”, I’ll probably say I’m a tech writer. That is something they kind of understand. And while they may not know exactly how the tech writing bit works, they are less inclined to ask those things associated with what they know as a “typical” writer involved perhaps with books and magazines and have I ever worked with Anna Wintour or People magazine?


And so, Becca, whether you tell people you write or not, you, too, are indeed a writer!


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§ 5 Responses to writeonwednesday…hot august dayz

  • Becca says:

    I loved your response to this question, especially the description of a “real writer.” And it’s conversations like the one you described which make me shy away from mentioning that I write. It’s the “isn’t that nice?” kind of answer I feel likely to get, just before the person makes a quick getaway!

    Great post once again!

  • I agree, I get the same kind of response when I tell others I’m a writer. I don’t raise my eyebrows at them when they tell me they’re a banker or a farmer or a hair dresser.

    Great post!

  • oh says:

    Becca: ah, yes, the conversational escapee – they don’t understand. It’s difficult for a lot of us (writers) to talk about what we do. Sometimes, we’re shy; sometimes, we don’t want to take the power out of what we’re doing by talking about it.

    Bobbi – you’re right! We don’t flinch at discovering someone is a banker, farmer, hair dresser, gardener, golfer, whatever. We are likely to find it fascinating, actually (more fodder for our stories.)

  • nova says:

    I love your answers. I hope no one corners me at a party and asks me what I am!

  • qugrainne says:

    I didn’t think about “we don’t want to take the power out of what we’re doing by talking about it” but that really is true. Even if someone in my family asks me a question about what I am writing, I often hesitate to talk about it. I feel as though if there is a small puncture, the whole thing might leak out all over and I won’t be able to sop it up.

    Well, at least you can say you are published – even if it is “only” journalist type stuff. I guess you could always ask the ‘designer dumbass shoes’ person what they have published.

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