Sunday, 4 April 2010

When does a person who writes get to call themselves a writer?

"Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary."
- Kahlil Gibran

This is my answer to a question that was raised on a forum I frequent about the difference between making works of art and being an artist indetifying as such.

I consider myself to be a writer. I actively sumbit work for publication (whether it ends up published or not is besides the point) and I am a student of Creative Writing.

I don’t however consider myself to be a photographer, even though I take photos and sometimes like what I see, I see it a lot more as a hobby, something that I enjoy to do, rather than as part of my indentity.

If I didn’t write I don’t think I would be the same person. I know that sounds incredibly pretentious but I can’t help it. I came to writing firstly out of a need for some sort of healthy expression and then later as pleasure and then eventually it become something that I couldn’t see myself without.

Whether I ever end up published isn’t really the issue, I’m a poet because I want and need to write poems.

I think that if you believe in what you're doing than you are an artist, some people can paint but not want to be artists, same as some people can add up but don't want to be accountants (does that make any sense?) it's about what you feel you are or atleast what you would feel was missing from your indentity if you were without it.

Fame and money and publication are not the only measures of success, sometimes it's as simple as touching one person emotionally, bringing them joy with what you've created. Even if that person is yourself.

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