Over the years I have both called myself a writer and chastised myself over the very same description. Imposter syndrome has been in full effect.
But, what is a writer? Is it purely semantic? It doesn't help that there are various definitions.
Perhaps the most common definition is "a person who writes books or articles to be published" or variations on that theme. It implies that a writer is a professional, synonymous with an author.
And that's largely why imposter syndrome kicks in.
There are other definitions, however, including the following:
- a person who writes or is able to write, and
- a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc. to writing.
The first is the obvious derivation from the verb but the second is more meaningful. Indeed, the entry for "writer" on Wikipedia begins:
"A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate ideas"
These last two descriptions sound much more like a blogger, or even someone writing in a journal regardless of whether it will be read by others. In fact, blogger and diarist are both listed as types of writer in the Wikipedia entry.
Yet, armed with this knowledge, and that I am now literally writing more rather than typing, I still feel like a fraud and that the label should not apply.