What does it take to be a real writer?
Honestly, not much. Many writers feel they can’t really call themselves writers if they don’t follow certain writing practices, or if they aren’t published yet. But that simply isn’t true. You don’t need an elaborate writing routine or a best-selling novel. You don’t need to write every single day. You don’t need to be prolific.
Then what do you need?
You may be surprised at how little it takes to be a real writer. There are only two things you really need to be a writer. If you are reading this, I already know you have those two things.
If you are reading this, you are a real writer.
What Does It Take to Be a Real Writer?
You Need Passion
If someone doesn’t have passion for writing, they can still write. But if feels like a task rather than something to look forward to, they probably don’t call themselves writers. So they aren’t.
But if it is something you want to be, then it can be something you are.
Further reading: What It Takes to Call Yourself a Writer
Another reason writers need passion is because they won’t get far without it. Without passion, you’ll likely drop writing if it becomes too difficult. But if you are passionate, if you really want to be a writer, you will continue and push through the difficulties even on the hard days. Or, if you stop writing for a while, you will find yourself always coming back to try again. That idea of being a writer will always be a part of you, regardless of how much writing you are actually doing. That’s the kind of passion a true writer needs to have.
You can be as passionate as you want, but so there’s no confusion, I’m not suggesting that your level of passion needs to reflect the kind of writer you are. I’ve told friends that I’m a passionate writer, but not a super ambitious one. Your passion for writing can be as simple as wanting to establish yourself as a writer. It doesn’t have to mean writing is your lifeline, although it can. As long as you have some some level of desire and joy that you get when you write or think about your aspirations, you are a writer.
You Need to Write
To be a real writer, you need to write. But there is so much more to writing than we often think. It’s not always stringing words together or adding to your word count. I strongly believe that writing includes brainstorming, writing, and revision. If you sit and brainstorm or think about your novel, you are writing. If you revise and make notes to yourself or spend an hour reviewing comma placement, you are writing.
Give yourself more credit for the writing you are doing. Recognize yourself as a writer if you are brainstorming or revising. Recognize yourself as a writer if you are trying to start writing.
At the end of the day, you are a real writer, simply because you want to be one.
You may also enjoy this Writer’s Digest post about when you can call yourself a real writer.