Being a Writer Means…

Being a Writer Means…

There are perks and irritations with being a writer. Everyone around me has their own interpretation of what being a writer means. Just as a taxi driver would get annoyed if everyone expected him to be the designated driver on a night out, a writer has some similar irritations. Then there are those aspects of being a writer that border on the obsessive.

Yes, there is much that is wonderful about being a writer. But then there are the niggly things—the tiny annoyances that happen the moment you tell someone that you wrangle words for a living.

Being a writer means…

  • Always being asked to write the message in every family birthday card
  • Being expected to answer accurately every spelling query without looking it up
  • Everyone assumes you have read every major novel and can recommend one
  • Grammar can keep you awake at night
  • Coffee keeps you awake during the day
  • People assume you have time on your hands ’cause you don’t do a ‘real’ job
  • All your emails are held to a higher standard
  • You are expected to provide the definition of any word friends come across
  • Your wedding speeches have to be better than anyone else’s
  • Misuse of the apostrophe can cause temper tantrums and family breakdowns
  • Friends enjoy pointing out your errors and typos on everything — even notes on the fridge
  • Friends hate you pointing out their errors and typos — calling it nitpicking
  • Sons, daughters, nieces and nephews all expect you to write their English assignments
  • One family member always sums up your career with “So are you famous yet?”
  • Every time you receive a rejection letter, a small piece of you dies

What do you think being a writer means?


  1. At least nobody asks you for advice on which computer to buy or how to install Linux…

  2. My latest WIP *The Unread Writer* wonders whether a writer needs readers. Is a drawer groaning under the weight of uncirculated manuscripts its own reward and/or punishment?