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3 Tools You Need to be a Writer

by The Procrastinating Writer on April 29, 2009

courtesy of Caitlinator

courtesy of Caitlinator

By Jennifer Blanchard

I came across a post on Twitter called Am I A Writer? from the blog, Just About Writing, by Joel Heffner. I’ve read Joel’s posts before, and I usually agree and think his advice is great. But this post really got me thinking–not because I agreed, but because I disagreed.

The post starts out with: “Are you a writer? In order to be a writer you need as many ‘yes’ answers as possible–Do you have a computer? Can you write complete paragraphs? Are you an expert in an area or can you find information about a specific area? If you answer ‘yes’ to all three…you’ve got a shot at it.”

I disagree. You don’t need a computer or any expertise to be a writer. You only need 3 things:

  • A writing utensil–a pen, a pencil, a computer keyboard, a crayon, lipstick…anything you can use to write.
  • Somewhere for the words to go–a computer, a notebook, the back of your hand…anything you can write on.
  • A desire to write–This, to me, is by far the most important “tool” a writer needs. If you don’t have a desire to write, you’ll procrastinate forever. It is that desire that fuels the words. It is that desire that causes you to finally sit down and write. It’s the same desire you need to write a novel.

As long as you have something to write with, something to write on and a desire to put words on the page, you are a writer. If you want to be a professional writer, however, you need to work toward publication, as Heffner mentioned in his post.

Overall though, writers write. So if you want to call yourself a writer, put your butt in the chair and WRITE!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joel Heffner May 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm

There are good writers and bad writers. There are smart writers and dumb writers. It takes all kinds. Our criteria may be a bit different, however, we agree that writers must write. The rest really doesn’t count very much. 🙂

2 The Procrastinating Writer May 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm

@Joel Heffner Yep. We definitely agree–writers write!!

3 Ben Licher May 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Just found your blog (through ProBLogger) and I will be back :-).
I write in my head. After I have everything I need sorted out in my head I sit down and type the words. I need my capacity to think before I can write.

4 The Procrastinating Writer May 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

@Ben Licher Welcome! I’m so glad you found my blog. That’s a very interesting method that you use.

I use something similar for fiction. Most of my fiction ideas (novels, short stories) come from dreams I’ve had. I tend to spend my days daydreaming about the story idea until I have enough detail to start writing.

5 Clare Lynch May 6, 2009 at 3:12 am

I always like to remind myself of Kingsley Amis’s famous words:

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

6 The Procrastinating Writer May 6, 2009 at 10:25 am

@Clare Lynch I love that quote! I’m always telling people “butt in chair” is the only way you’ll ever get your writing done. Thanks for sharing!

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