To anyone who ever aspires to one day be a published author, the question of how to become a writer is never far from the mind. The reason could be because the label is rather insubstantial. Unlike becoming a doctor, where the boundaries are set so clearly that even your name changes from Mr/Ms to Dr just so everyone can be extremely clear, every writer must decide for themselves. The act of being a writer (writing) is completely intrinsically motivated, and the distinction between a person who writes (everybody to a certain extent) and a writer is so fine, we aren’t sure if it could even be defined.
Brian Doyle did not let the intangible nature of this distinction stop him from distinguishing what, for him, defines this step:
But in almost every class I am asked how I became a writer, and after I make my usual joke about it being a benign neurosis, as my late friend George Higgins once told me, I usually talk about my dad. My dad was a newspaperman, and still is, at age 92, a man of great grace and patience and dignity, and he taught me immensely valuable lessons. If you wish to be a writer, write, he would say. There are people who talk about writing and then there are people who sit down and type. Writing is fast typing. Also you must read like you are starving for ink. Read widely. Read everything.
As someone aspiring to become a writer myself, I have always loved reading what authors consider to be the defining traits of the profession. Brian Doyle’s advice is not only simple to grasp, unlike the often intangible definitions writers give themselves, but also rings incredibly true for me. To read the rest of this article, click the link here
But regardless of whether there is an actual distinction or not, it is an interesting question to ponder. What do you think defines writing and distinguishes writers? Let us know in the comments!