Craft Talk

When Do You Call Yourself a Writer?

Happy Christmas.

What is the first thing you think of when someone tells you they are a writer by trade?

I know what I think of:

A hunched body with bloodshot eyes (insert gender here), pounding feverishly at their typewriter, floating ghost-like amongst crumpled papers, a stack of books nearby, open, lined journals within reach, empty coffee cups and even more empty liquor bottles surround the desk they’re bent over in a room with one window facing the back garden to which they occasionally gaze out and towards wistfully.

I never saw myself in that role, even when I was saying I wanted to be a writer. It feels positively stifling to feed that romanticized view, to become the stereotype.

Writing – for me – has always been about creating worlds. I am a short fiction writer, so I get even less space than novelists do to tell my story. It’s a great exercise in restraint.

I create these fantastically absurd worlds within my overarching theme of cinematic absurdism. I have an entire literary-like theory about it in my head, which I will share once I figure out what I want to say about it.

But when do you get to call yourself a writer?

The moment you wake up in the morning and say, “there’s nothing else that I want to do but write. This is what I was born to do. I will sacrifice goats to the pantheon of gods if it means that I get to put words on a page.”

write on, Guilliean
write on, Guilliean

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By Guilliean

Filipina adjacent. (Bad) Feminist. INTJ-T. Mélomaniac. Pokémon Trainer. Raconteuse. Tsundoku. She/her. Hire me; link in bio!

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