A Writer's Identity

Jennifer Bonn

The question I am asked the most about writing involves the steps that are necessary to publish a writer’s work. There are definitely steps to take to be published as well as decisions to be made, but the first thing a writer needs to do is determine her identity.

Start with a series of questions to discover who you are as a writer. Here are a few that might help.

Why do you want to write?

One day, I was complaining about not making enough money with my writing and my husband gave me the puzzled look I see so often. He said, “Why do you write?” I replied, “Because I enjoy it, and I want to share my experiences with others in the hopes of helping them.” “Then stop worrying about the money.” I don’t know about you, but I will always hope that my writing will be profitable, but the truth is I have to write because ideas insert themselves in my brain and won’t leave me alone until I put them into writing. Is that why you write? What are your reasons for wanting to be a writer?

How much time can you devote to writing?

Being successful as a writer is not always the cushy job that some people envision. There are deadlines, query letters to write, and research to do. How much time you can spend doing it can determine what kind of writer you can be.

What type of writing do you want to do?

I have never agreed with the writing advice that says you should find your niche and then stick to it. I agree that if you are an expert in an area it would be great to share that knowledge, but if you have eclectic taste like I do you might want to delve into a variety of topics.

I’m sure you have heard the advice that says to write about what you know, but writers often need to write about what they feel which might require some research.

Do you want to do technical writing? Fiction? Non-fiction? Maybe you want to do a little bit of everything.

Who do you want your audience to be?

What age group do you want to write for? Do you want to write novels, magazines, picture books, or something else.

All of your answers will help form your writing identity. It will help you in your publishing journey if you know who you are as a writer.


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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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