How do you define a writer?

How do you define a writer?

Have you ever given any thought as to how you would define a writer? In other words, how do you know... or who gets to decide, I suppose... if and when it would be appropriate for a person - maybe even you - to claim the label of writer as their own?

What do you think?


  • Must your work have been published in paper form? Must it be an actual book, or are magazines, trade journals, newsletters, etc. acceptable?
  • What if your medium is online - web site articles, blogging, etc.? (Is that cheating, somehow? Or just the way it is today?)
  • Does it matter who publishes your work? What about self-publishing? (Cheating, again?)
  • Do you have to be an author to be considered a writer?
  • Is a blogger automatically a writer? Can you be a blogger without being a writer?
  • Must you have been paid for your writing? Must you sell a certain amount of product?
  • Must you have an audience of a specific size or demographic? What if all you ever do is write for your own consumption? (If a tree falls in the forest...)
  • Do you have to be "good" by some particular person's definition? Or is the love of writing enough?

So many questions... and I suspect the answer completely depends on who you ask.

I think I'll just keep writing until I figure it out.

How do you define a writer?
Please share!

(Originally posted in part in November, 2009.)

NaBloPoMo February 2014

(Original post in Alphabet Salad.)

Laurel Regan blogs about life as she lives it at Alphabet Salad - "an eclectic assortment of rants & ramblings."