Musings

No fame or fortune? You’re still a writer

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I recently made the acquaintance of a fellow writer at my day job. From different departments, we were both taking part in a meeting that called upon our day job skills when he let it slip that he was chosen among many to participate in an exclusive writing program the following week.

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Flickr: Umberto Salvagnin

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My fellow-writer-radar was immediately alerted.

“You’re a writer?”

He hesitated. “Well, I…I write screenplays, but I wouldn’t say I’m a writer.”

“Of course you’re a writer!” I said. “You’re a screenwriter. And you must be good if you’ve been invited to participate in this writing group.”

The talented young man’s reluctance to call himself a writer did not surprise me. There was a time when I hesitated in this same way, afraid that people would see me as some kind of wannabe writing loser.

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I mean, what had I accomplished? I had only just a few articles published in a local parenting magazine. I wasn’t pulling in big money. I wasn’t famous. How could I dare count myself among those in such a vaunted profession?

And yet, those few articles turned into many hundreds more articles in magazines, newspapers and journals across the world and a decent living as a public relations and media professional. Still — no big money. No crazy fame. But, I am a writer because the words I write and the images that I create make it so; not some fancy literary agent ot a lucrative publishing contract.

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Over time and throughout my career, I have coaxed myself to tell the world that I am a writer for one main reason – the world needs me. The world needs my ideas and stories. It needs my imagination and spunk and all things innovation. Just as it needs my co-worker’s screenplays – haven’t we seen enough of the Hollywood re-makes?

Have you declared yourself a writer today? If not, what’s stopping you?

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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