Wear Your Title, “Writer,” With Pride
Recently, I’ve been drowning in a sea of nostalgia. Specifically, I’ve been ruminating on my final creative writing class during my final year of college. I talk a lot about writing, the crafting of it, the mechanics of it, etc. However, I didn’t realize there were also a set of perks that came along with the title of writer. That is what my final creative writing class taught me, and I wanted to share the perks of being a writer:
Calling yourself a writer opens doors
Of course it’s always nice to have the proof to back it up, but just by claiming you are a writer from the get-go can provide a plethora of opportunities. For example, I’ve been working on a short story centered around the history of a bronze sculpture. It probably goes without saying that I know jack-squat about bronze and how it reacts to certain elements over time.
So, I did some googling and found a person that works with bronze metals and restores older pieces from various stages of wear-and-tear. I sent him an email, making sure I mentioned that I was just a writer hoping to expand my knowledge on the subject. He was beyond helpful. He sent pictures, asked me questions about my fictional bronze sculpture, and even helped shape my story. Just by letting him know I was writer and wanted to learn, I gained so much knowledge and ended up having a great experience I might not have had otherwise.
You are always building a portfolio
If you are a writer, you are also a creator. You are constantly creating something, and you are always building a portfolio. My professor always told us to attack everything we wrote as if anyone might read it. I never really thought of anyone reading what I wrote when writing, but it has become more integral the farther I travel from my undergraduate career into my professional one. You don’t really realize how many of the pieces you work on you can eventually use in a professional setting. Not long after graduating, I was hired by my dream company.
Surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly), my job doesn’t directly deal with writing in any way. Even so, I had so much to put on my resume and into my portfolio that proved I was capable of working in a professional setting. My work proved to my now-employer that I could meet deadlines, that I could communicate effectively, and that I was able to complete projects effectively. I provided them with multiple versions of one piece to prove I had an eye-for-detail, that I am dedicated, and that I am not discouraged by failure. By constantly creating, you are constantly creating proof of your skills and character. We spend so much time learning to show and not tell, and by doing so, we are creating ways to show our skills, rather than just tell people we have them.
You can always be a writer
No matter what path my life takes, I will always be a writer. If I stay on my current career path, if I decide to do something else, if 40 years pass, if pen and paper become obsolete, if we all have to move to another planet, if the world implodes… doesn’t matter. I can, and will always be, a writer. As long as you write, you are a writer.
A writer is someone who writes in journals, who writes for a newspaper, who writes just for their mom, who blogs, who writes grocery lists, who writes poems, who writes stories, who tells stories, who records stories on a laptop, phone, tape recorder, etc. If you believe you are a writer, all you need to do to is write. Simple as that. To prove you are a doctor, you need a license. To prove you are a NASA employee, you need references, or name badges, or check stubs… but a doctor doesn’t need a license to prove he is a writer, too. He is a writer because he writes.
Are these perks super cool? Probably not to everyone, and maybe not even that cool to many of my fellow writers. Regardless, I hope you got something out of this. Be proud, writers.
Thanks for reading.