Tell Everyone: “I’m a writer”

Posted by Kelsey Johnson 

Writing is a full-time job. It’s a way of thinking. It’s an identity. It’s a way of life.

That’s why when reading Mary Jaksch’s “73 Ways to Become a Better Writer,” I took a second to stop and think at tip #39.

Being a (successful) writer means taking your work home with you, and not abandoning the “writer” in you at the office (if you even have one, that is.) According to Jaksch, a writer needs to blog, continuously edit, learn new words everyday, be curious, appreciate art of all kinds, keep a journal, people watch, exercise, interact with other writers, and live passionately. Though all are good tips, Jaksch hit the nail on the head approximately half way thorough her list: “Tell Everyone: ‘I’m a writer.’” 

You might be thinking: why is it so important I identify myself as a writer? Isn’t that just a small part of who I am anyway? And my answer for you is that writing is hard-really hard-and if writing is not your primary love in life, if it’s not all you’ve ever dreamed of doing, if you’ve ever even thought about doing something else…do that, because writing won’t be worth it to you.

Being a writer means working all day, and bringing your work home with you. It means not being afraid to put yourself out there, risk sounding stupid, give your pride and joy to scary editor people with evil grins and red pens, always expecting more out of yourself, and constantly challenging your work. But most of all, being a writer means loving what you do, and always working because it’s worth it.

So next time you feel like throwing your computer across the room, and vowing to never write another word as long as you live, remember you’re not alone. The truth is, you’re probably just a writer, which means you’re most likely slightly crazy…but why would you want it any other way?

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6 responses to “Tell Everyone: “I’m a writer”

  1. Amen! Good word. :)

  2. I love this post, Kelsey! I completely agree that writing as a career would not be worth the work to someone who didn’t love it. I do love writing, but next time I get frustrated with an assignment or just any writing project in general, I have a feeling I will return to this post for motivation. Thanks! Great picture, too, by the way.

    • I’m glad you like it! I will probably have to come look at it again soon to remind myself that I actually do enjoy writing…because I often forget.

      And thanks, that’s actually a picture of me from finals week last semester. (I had a 20 page term paper…it was rough.)

  3. Sounds like a motivational book! I’ll have to check it out. Definitely worth sticking with what you love no matter the struggles… everyone has good and bad days! Nice post!

  4. I love everything about this.

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