July 21, 2023

The 3D printer is awesome. The rabbit turned out pretty nicely. It’s amazing to me that this sort of technology exists. The ideas that I have for what I’d like to print with it keep coming to me in a steady wave. I haven’t written any of them down.

Today, though, something else is on my mind for this blog post: is there a difference between a writer and someone who writes? It came up in a conversation with my girlfriend. I don’t quite remember the context but the question remains an interesting one.

I was saying to her that I don’t consider myself a writer but think of myself as someone who writes. To me, this is evident. I used to want to be a writer, to be recognized and rewarded for my writing, but I put that idea aside a while ago. I resolved that I would be someone who journals, that that would be how I would write. I’m not working on any articles, stories, or a book. The writing I do are my morning pages and these blog posts. I don’t even journal these days.

What, then, is a writer? I guess, by my own definition, a writer is someone who is working on articles, stories, or a book. I would even argue that a blogger could be considered a writer if his/her/their blog has a large readership and is recognizable. I do think, however, that the definition of what it means to be a blogger has changed too much from what it originally was. Blogging, as I remember it being, was about sharing yourself on the internet. It wasn’t meant to be vetted, curated, or sponsored. It wasn’t really meant to make you any money. Nowadays, blogging seems to be something people do with the express intention of earning from their websites.

Admittedly, I do think that being paid to write also makes you a writer. I don’t consider the pennies that I’ve earned to be “payment”. Perhaps, earning your livelihood through writing makes you a writer. I couldn’t pay for a Bic pen with my earnings.

The writing that I do is too ad hoc to be considered writing proper. There is no long-term plan, no throughline, no story arc, no real message to convey. In the mornings, I pull out my notebook and pen and get to writing until I’ve filled in an entire page. Then, I put everything back in its place and move on with my day. My day doesn’t feel complete unless I’ve written that page. With this blog, I just sit down at my computer and work through the idea that I have in mind. It’s poorly edited and then published. Usually, I’m rushing to get it done before midnight. And, well, it’s a new thing for me, writing daily like I have been.

Hannah said that we can’t let other people define us. I added my two cents, of course, and said that if we did allow them to, we’d amount to nothing. There’s something in that. We do get to define who we are because our identities are uniquely our own. There do have to be some metrics, however. Is someone who writes a grocery list weekly a writer? What about someone who sent a love letter?

It comes down to lifestyle. What lens do you see the world through? Are you constantly observing, making notes, and imagining characters as you walk down the street or ride the subway? Do the conversations you overhear in a line at the coffee shop interest you because of what the people are saying, how they’re saying it, or what accent they’re speaking with? Do you express your vision of the world through words carefully arranged?

Writing down my list of ideas for what I’d like to print on my 3D printer won’t make me a writer. I’m not sure that writing about why it won’t does either.


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