I Won’t Consider You A Writer Unless…


The thing is, when someone comes up to you and tells you they are a singer, you typically expect them to be able to carry a tune. If someone walks up to you with a violin, you have already imagined that the music will be played expertly. But for some reason, some odd reason, anyone and everyone can carry a pen and declare themselves a writer.

I may sound like a right witch, but I won’t consider you a writer unless…

  • You have spent some time honing your craft – Whether by studying the work of other writers, reading books about writing, attending some course or other, writing regularly etc. I do not consider reading to be honing your craft, unless your craft is reading.


  • You pay attention to grammar – You do not have to be the king or queen of grammar but if you pay little or no attention to it, do not consider yourself a writer. Reading should be a pleasurable experience, not a painful one.


  • You edit your work – Have you made a habit of writing and immediately pressing publish? There’s nothing wrong with showing others your first draft, but keep in mind it is your first draft. It is necessary that you go back to it, whether it is an essay, story or poem (more ranting about people who call themselves poets later).


  • You are informed – You call yourself a writer of horror but you don’t read horror and you can’t name any authors who write in that genre – stop kidding.


Feel free to judge me by this criteria.

Keep writing! 😉

About the author

Oyinkan Braithwaite


  • I always feel a bit embarrassed introducing myself as “Hi I’m a writer”, even when I was working at a newspaper. If someone gets to know me well, they could learn that I want to be a writer.

    Those other aspiring writers who love introducing themselves like that seem pretentious to me. Perhaps it works for them, a motivator to keep writing. Certainly some successful writers say they did that in their early years before they made a living of it. But I’d guess about 90-95% of people who say “I’m a writer” are anything but.

    Once I started publishing on a regular basis I got better at saying this at parties, but I hope I never ever come across as one of those endless bad writers who love announcing it to the world…

    • The problem is, it doesn’t require any proof. In the past, it used to require some published work.

      However, calling yourself a writer before you are published is a great motivator, so long as you have dedicated yourself to the art. Perhaps that’s the difference between a ‘writer’ and an ‘author’…

      Thanks for commenting!!! 🙂

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