Is Everyone a Writer?

“It was just south of heaven and far, far west of hell.” 

This example from a poorly written blog post wasn’t biblical in nature, just unequivocally terrible. Bad from the start, it didn’t have a chance, or the power of redemption. The author had admittedly never written anything in the past, yet in their short biography, had self-identified as a “writer”.

In this day and digital age, apparently it only takes a millisecond—and now everyone can call himself or herself a writer.

Have you posted a comment on Facebook? Created a blog that has been read by no one but your mother? If you have ever awoken in a cold sweat from a nightmare, then fired off a paragraph about it to Jezebel, have no fear, YOU ARE NOW A WRITER!

Prior to the birth of the internet and its recent incarnation, there wasn’t a universal platform to quickly communicate your deepest, darkest thoughts. Late-night ramblings of bored suburban housewives, the musings of high school students, and the cryptic scribblings from serial killers were confined to handwritten diaries. Extremely covert. Highly secretive and only approved for selective viewing pleasure, if any at all.

Now creativity is a free-for-all. And I love it.

Why? The reason is the larger idea at play that’s greater than us, which has fundamentally changed the way an entire generation has viewed (and future generations will view) writing as a means of self-expression, and it’s glorious. The floodgates have opened. There’s no slowing down now. Writing has given the less-confident a voice. Living in a small town and toiling away at a crappy job is now fodder for the next great Tweet or post. It might give hope that there is a world out there where at least one person feels the same as you.

Writing has taken the form of unconditional love.  It has become a person, an entity that lives, breathes, and keeps growing; it has the gift of eternal life and never dies. It’s proof that you were here and made a contribution to society, however small it may be.

This creative explosion is in its infancy. And if it encourages more people to speak their minds and document it, then self-identifying as a writer has evolved beyond just being part of literary cliques with accolades and positive reviews.

Fact: your article has garnered two comments today, as opposed to none yesterday. Truth: two more souls are listening to what you have to say and may feel compelled to keep reading. Perhaps there was a misplaced comma or an incorrect word within your work. That’s fine. Take credit and own it—it’s now a part of you.

So go ahead and label yourself a writer, because the effort isn’t lost. You’re now seen and heard….somewhere, by someone.

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Daniella Latham is a senior writer for a global corporation and has spent her career in the advertising industry. She holds a B.S. in Journalism and English Literature from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and is currently working on her first novel.

  • It’s great. Now if only proper grammar would be acceptable on Twitter, we would be there!

  • “It was just south of heaven and far, far west of hell.”

    “It was a dark and stormy night.”

    Even bad openers sometimes become famous. Look at how well Edward Bulwer-Lytton did with what many pundits declare as the worst opening line ever.

    I agree with your closing comment, “So go ahead and label yourself a writer, because the effort isn’t lost.”

    • Daniella Latham

      I’m glad that you took the time to read the article. The writing community is a supportive one, not based upon negativity. Looking forward to reading your next article here.

  • Daniella Latham

    I don’t think it will happen, but dare to dream. I’m with you!

  • The floodgates may have opened, but that just results in greater flow of water. This revolution does not improve writing or reading, it merely makes it easier to produce and disseminate words. That gives “writers” a warm fuzzy feeling and readers the illusion of greater freedom of choice… as long as the blog servers are online.

    • The electronic word has led revolution in the street. The freedom of choice is all around you just take a look.

  • JennySmith

    Sorry, but to me it really doesn’t seem fair. Why should someone who writes one blog post one time get the same title as someone who has devoted hours of their lives every week for years to writing?

    The problem with any and every one being able to be called writers is that no one takes the word seriously anymore. I can’t tell you how often I have to turn down an initiation to go out or cut an outing short because I have to make sure I have time to write, and all I get from people is “oh, yeah, sure… right ‘insert eye-roll'”. Yet if someone else says, “Hey, I have a huge project at work, I have to go work on it,” everyone is like, “oh, yeah, no problem, good luck!” If I took one dance class then tried to call myself ‘a dancer’, no one would take me seriously–nor should they. Yet someone can write one post, or review, or what have you, then DEMAND that the world view them as ‘a writer’? Sorry, no.

    One dance class makes me a lot of things, someone who likes to dance, maybe even an aspiring dancer, and the same goes with writing. One two page long compositions makes you someone who likes to write, or perhaps an aspiring writer. Stick with it, take it seriously, and who knows where you can go. But until then… you gotta earn it, playa’.

    You gotta earn it.

    • sarah

      I completely agree. I love that so many people enjoy writing, and it is a wonderful, worthwhile hobby or means of expressing their thoughts. But I think it is unfair to equate part-time bloggers who proclaim themselves writers with those who spend hours working seriously on their craft for the purpose of making a profession or vocation from it. I would say more but actually Jenny you covered it all perfectly. 🙂

      • Daniella Latham

        Thank you for your comments! I agree with you that it’s unfair to compare true writers who work at it for a living against bloggers who post once a month. But it’s all about their own perception – the bloggers are free to call themselves writers. They aren’t hurting anybody by doing so and if it helps them with their creativity, good. No one would read a solitary blog post and identify the source as a prolific author. In the scheme of things, we all sanely know it is like comparing apples to oranges.