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I Write, Therefore I Am...?

Writer. It's a term I've never really considered for myself. While teacher, blogger, mommy and wife usually find their way into my brief bios, somehow this particular word does not. Maybe it's because I'm not entirely certain that I am a writer. I write on my blog; does that in and of itself qualify me as one? Or is a writer someone who publishes somewhere in print, rather than at an URL? Must a writer produce a product with an ISBN, or are writers and authors two distinct and different entities? I suppose that up until now, I've often considered them to be the same thing.

However, lately I've noticed bloggers identifying themselves as writers. I would say that they lack a published work to warrant such a title, but some would argue that even publishing online counts. Also, in a day and age when people are able to self-publish anything they want anyway, the act of having one's writings printed and bound (or digitally compiled) doesn't hold quite as much clout as it used to. In that sense, being "published" is hardly a distinguishing characteristic of a writer.

So then, what is? Do writers need a credential, such as a doctorate in literature? I have a BA minoring in English; while that is hardly a PhD, it's also more than, say, credits earned from an online writing course. But to say that one is excluded from being counted a writer simply because of a lack of formal education would be ridiculous, considering that many of the great literary classics we appreciate today were penned by people who wrote them long before university degrees were even a thing.

When I mentioned this subject to Hubbs, I was surprised to learn that on the nerdy forums that he frequents, there are contributors who proclaim themselves to be "comic book journalists." Yes, you read that correctly: there are folks out there who read graphic-heavy, text-light "novels,"write blog posts or forum contributions or trollish comments about these comic books, and then count themselves as "journalists" of the genre. Wha...?

When I consider this seeming abuse, or at the very least misappropriation of the word journalist, it gives me a better perspective on the term writer, and I feel much more at ease swiping it for myself. 
After all, if "comic book journalists" are a thing, it's not so much of a stretch to consider me a writer of some kind. Besides, a fan fiction forum contributor somehow managed to snag herself a multi-book deal and make millions off her pseudo-p0rn fantasy reworking of another poorly-written set of young adult novels; both women fancied themselves writers, then authors, and now they get to be millionaires. Well then, why not me? For the writer part, anyway. If they can do it, anyone can!


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