Are Writers Righter?

A guest post by Lindsey of Campfire Song.

What defines a writer?

Anyone who writes? Someone who’s been published or gets paid to write? An “author”? A teenaged girl who keeps a journal?

I recently attended Writers’ Week, hosted by Emily. I read all of her posts, checked out the resources she offered to help budding writers, won a style guide (a what?) and even entered the contest.

Half the time I spent participating though, I felt almost as if I shouldn’t be there.

Like an impostor.

And that I’m not a writer – I’m a blogger.

So far I know very little about freelancing. I don’t make a living from what I write. At this point my blog is a hobby and therapeutic and includes everything from my views on life to something funny my kid said at breakfast this morning. I don’t even really associate with a niche. My blog design might look different three times per day as I mess around with its layout – I don’t have a paid custom design because I’m still trying to figure out my focus. Although writing paid posts is definitely something I’d consider, I’m not a professional at this.

My entry to the Writers’ Week contest was a huge step for me. I decided to write fiction, which is something I’ve never done on my blog. As a child I always claimed to have no imagination, and I’m not much more creative in the tall tale department now than I was at eight years of age. I wanted to push myself and try something new, and this seemed like a great place to do it.

Linking up my entry I was terrified, as I had read all the posts before mine. People entered chapters of their short stories or excerpts from their “latest” novels, their Twitter bios boasted their “writer” status while mine reads “unprofessional mommy blogger”. My posts are conversational and sometimes I can have one up – from conception to “Publish” – in twenty minutes.

But am I a writer?

I don’t love my work any less than a labour of love that took its bestselling author years to perfect. I still feel that “writers” are better than “bloggers” – anyone can start up a blog, but it takes talent to be a good writer, right? Are the popular, paid bloggers considered writers?

Or maybe I’m selling myself short.

I asked on my Facebook page what the difference between blogging and writing is. Someone reminded me of the movie Contagion, where blogging is defined as “graffitti with punctuation”.

So technically it’s still a form of art then, right?

I’d totally settle for “artist” if I can’t have “writer”. Then at least as I find my way, nothing I write could ever be considered crappy.

Lindsey blogs at Campfire Song. She’s a SAHM to nearly four and writes about the insanity that molds her existence as a twenty-something mother, Army wife, Christian, conservative common-sense advocate. She’s on Facebook and Twitter.

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