Getting Started, or, What Am I Even Doing In The First Plce?

"I'm a writer." What a weird, wonderful statement. Some people modify it, such as "I'm an aspiring writer." "I'm a wannabe writer." "Someday I'll be able to call myself a writer."

OK. Stop right there. Hit rewind. "I'm a writer." It's a simple statement with no need for any qualification. Do you write? If you answer "yes," guess what? You're a writer. It's that simple. You're not aspiring, you're writing.

Have you published anything? No? You're still a writer. But you're also an aspiring author in that most definitions of "author" either include or imply that until you're published, you're not one. Only published one book or article? Well, I guess in that case you could call yourself a budding author, in that you're just getting started.

But even then you are first and foremost a writer.

I've written and published many newspaper articles, PBS news videos, and human interest video segments. But I still don't call myself an author. I prefer the term writer. It feels more inclusive. I've won national awards for video segments I've produced, but I don't describe myself as a videographer or producer; neither of those terms explains what I really do: I write stories, then rely on various media forms to tell those stories.

William Faulkner once said "I'm just a farmer who likes to tell stories." (Source) Well, consider me a grandma who likes to tell stories to her family and friends.

Because ultimately, that's what I do. I tell stories.


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