What Makes a Writer? And Are You Really One?

what makes a writer - woman throwing hands in air

Hands up if you mumbled something like, “Well, I suppose I am, but…” or even, “I couldn’t really call myself a writer, because…”

I admit, it’s taken me a long time to say, “I’m a writer.”

Even after my first book Learn to Love was published and translated into many languages, I still couldn’t say these four simple words, “I am a Writer”. Why? Because I’m nothing like the writers I look up to. I thought of them as, well, WRITERS. And I thought of myself as a writer. Like, someone who writes a bit but isn’t the real deal.

Is this thought pattern familiar?

It all changed one day when I was having a conversation with my friend Steffie who was eight years old at the time. She asked me,

“What’s a writer?”

I answered, “A writer writes.”

Later I realized that I had given myself the answer I was looking for. Because being a writer doesn’t mean being outstanding, fantastic, or deserving of the Pulitzer. It means that you write.

For a while, I stuck notices up in every room of my home saying: “A writer writes!” Now I’m cool with that, and love it when someone asks me what I do. I immediately say, “I’m a writer!”

I find that this simple saying is a great motivator. When I’m in a bus, or at the hairdresser, or at any other ‘inbetween’ time, I remind myself of the action that makes me what I am: “A writer writes.” I whip out my notebook and start writing. Try this mantra and see what happens!

What about you? Are you a writer?

If you can’t answer with a clear ‘yes’, what are your barriers?

About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.