"Opinion" What makes someone a writer?

Jennifer Bonn

Jen Bonn

I read an article yesterday about writing, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. The point of the article was that you cannot consider yourself a writer merely because you write. According to the author, a real writer has to have impeccable grammar, know his purpose for writing, and always have something profound to say. Anything less than this is drivel, and the person should not consider himself a writer.

As you can guess I had quite a few reactions to this. My first reaction was that no one should be the self-appointed gatekeeper for good or bad writing. One of the wonderful aspects of a creative process is that one person might see beauty where someone else does not. All forms of art are open to interpretation and putting strict rules on self-expression silences many of the possibilities. To say it simply, I don’t think we need to color within the lines for something to be amazing.

My next reaction was I hoped his article did not dissuade someone from writing. When I first started writing I didn’t want anyone to see what I had produced because I was sure I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t a real writer. I continued because writing is a passion for me. It is my way to express myself, and I also hope that some of my articles can help someone. I hope as I continue to write that I also continue to improve, but whether my articles are good or bad, I am a writer.

One of the examples that the author used to prove you can only be a writer if you can check off the list of his standards was that he can run, but that doesn’t make him a runner. As an avid runner who is blessed with some speed and an ability to run distance, I never understand when someone calls me a real runner. In my mind, if you run, you are a runner, and if you write, you are a writer.

Don’t let haters keep you from doing something you love. If you love to write you should write. Break a few rules, improve your craft, and encourage other writers instead of throwing water on their dreams.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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