In an effort to reduce my personal belongings to a more travel-ready nature, I decided to sell my iMac and purchase a new laptop. My coworker Miguel had a pretty sweet MacBook Pro I had thought to buy off him. Delilah says we have our own little swap meet since we are always selling things back and forth. 

Being a nice guy, Miguel sends me a link to a Facebook Marketplace ad for a similar laptop to his, but with a slightly better graphics card and a little bit longer on Apple care. I contacted the seller and we decided to meet up. Whenever you sell on Facebook Marketplace, it is common to stalk the profile of a potential buyer to find out if they are shady. I wasn’t all that surprised they would do the same to me.

What took me off guard was they asked, “So, you are a writer?”

During their due diligence, they had come across this website. My blog is a lot of fun for me so I don’t consider myself a serious writer. I certainly don’t get paid for it so am not a professional writer.

In the midst of bumbling and fumbling, telling them my feelings about my blog and how I am not really a writer, I realized how much I revere actual writers and would love to be inducted into their esteemed pantheon. 

Delilah later asked me how many blog posts does it take until you are considered a writer.

We tell our kids they can be anything they want to be, but what really makes you that thing? Is it getting paid for it, doing it as a hobby, or doing it for an extended period of time? Getting an award for it? When someone is asked if they are a writer, would anyone who writes anything be able to respond in the positive?

Should I say that I don’t like labels?

This blog is something I put together for a purpose and although that purpose has shifted around throughout the years, I think of it as a creative outlet and a brain exercise more than anything. Writing helps us all get our thoughts out and have others understand them. Also, it builds character to be dedicated to a project.

I have been paid to work on websites and do I.T. work but don’t really associate with either of those as an individual. They are just things I sometimes do. I tinker. I’m just a really good tinkerer.

As good as I am at painting and drawing, I wouldn’t shirk off the term artist. Though I have rarely been paid for my fine art skills.

Growing up, I would like to have been paid to be an artist but my mom constantly warned me about “starving” artists. From that, I developed a strong division in my head on what makes work and what is a hobby. However, I have enjoyed my work just as much as I enjoy doing art.

So yeah, sure, I am a writer I guess. An absolute amateur in all forms of the definition:

amateur (pl. amateurs)

  1. (classic) A lover of something.
  2. A person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science as to music or painting; especially one who cultivates any study or art, from taste or attachment, without pursuing it professionally.
  3. Someone who is unqualified or insufficiently skillful.

An unqualified lover attached to a particular pursuit. That about sums me up.

But please, no labels.

What do you think makes someone a writer? That they receive money for it? Accolades from other writers? Or is it just writing and continuing to write? Would it matter if they were alone in a cave and no one read a word they wrote?

Let me know your thoughts below!

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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Erika Lee Kline
5 months ago

A writer is on a spectrum. It can be from a columnist, to a blogger, a poet, an author or just a person who has written any type of text. They don’t have to receive money or accolades. You are a writer Sam, Bravo! You could even be on an island (wink, wink).

Admiral Ackbar
5 months ago

So you think you are a writer because you are good at Google Sheets?