Thursday, June 3, 2010

True Writer

I had a strange experience today which left me a little lost. Someone in the corporate world (completely outside of publishing) told me that they were looking for a 'true writer'. It was not that they were looking for a good writer. Or even an honest one. What they meant by 'true' was tried and true. A real writer. What they wanted was a published writer.

Their request made me sit back. It gnawed at me. Despite the fact that it had nothing to do with me at all, despite the fact that when they chose those words, they probably did not place much significance on the word ‘true’, I folded my arms and things hung limp all around me. The thought that a majority of people in the world believe that a true writer is a published one is hard for me to swallow.

Maybe the truest writer is the one who writes despite the fact that they are not published. Maybe it is the writer who is told they never will be, but who sighs and takes their pen to paper and writes the beginning of something no one will ever see.

What do you think a true writer is?


  1. Sadly, the obvious way the public judges writers is by whether they've been published or not. And maybe how much money they've made off of their writing.
    I try not to think about that because honestly it makes me nervous. I try not to compare myself to other writers and make my own goals. Those kinds of comments make my writer's heart ache a bit.

  2. It's sad that there are perceived measurements for a "true writer." I believe that anybody who writes and tries to get better at writing is a writer, even if they aren't published.

  3. it begins with being a true reader, and you are that. (thank you) and I suspect, for I have read your blog posts often, that you are true in every sense of the word.

  4. Like beauty - what is true is in the eye of the beholder.