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So You Want to Be a Writer ...

So You Want to Be a Writer ...

Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter | Excelle

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from women who identify with some of my articles at High-AchievingWomen.com and here on Excelle The emails take two forms: that either I’m living their dream of being a writer, or that their lifelong dream is to be a writer. It started me thinking … what is a writer? Actually, the answer is quite simple … until, of course, we complicate it, but let’s stay with simple for now.

Simply (and, in my opinion, correctly) defined, a writer is someone who writes. So for those of you who dream to be a writer because it’s your passion, it’s what you love to do, then it’s hard to imagine that you haven’t already accomplished your dream. If you love to write, then chances are you have written in some way, shape, or form all of your life, and therefore, by definition, you are a writer. But of course, that’s the simple definition, and as we humans are prone to do, we often complicate simple things.

Some of you ask, “How can I call myself a writer if I’ve never had anything published?” or “Every time I submit something to an agent or publisher, it always gets rejected.” And those are good points … as long as you understand that you changed what you’re defining. Here’s what I mean.

When you start talking about publishing and agents and getting paid for your writing, you’re no longer talking about writing. You’re talking about the business of writing. Those are two very different things, and therefore have two very different definitions. Would you define a dog and a wolf exactly the same way because they’re similar? I would hope not. They’re very different animals.

Well, the same holds true for being a writer and being in the business of writing. These are very, very different animals, and it’s important not to confuse the two simply because they look a lot alike. If you do, you’re taking a very big chance of being eaten by a wolf that you’ve mistaken for a dog.

As someone who has spent time with both of these animals for many years and am still alive to tell about it, here’s my advise to avoid being eaten by a wolf as you pursue your dream of becoming a “writer.”

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