You don't have to write books

...to call yourself a writer.

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Usually, before I start recording an interview for my podcast, I spend 10–20 minutes doing a soundcheck, chatting, and making sure my guest is comfortable. This time was no different.

“So what do you do?” she asked me.

“Oh, well, I have a blog and a newsletter. I am not a writer yet, I guess. I am a budding writer, and I use these platforms to play around, test ideas, and learn to write better before I write my first real book…”

Not yet a real writer…

This is what I’ve told myself in the past, so it was no surprise that it came out of my mouth so easily. Many writers use blogs as sounding boards for their ideas. If you were born 50 years earlier, you would have been a journalist — as many famous writers like Neil Gaiman and Elizabeth Gilbert were — today, you are a blogger before you ‘finally’ start writing books.

But is that really so?

Whenever I tell somebody that I am a writer, I get asked, “Oh cool. So when are you going to write a bestseller?”

And of course, since it’s virtually impossible to write a bestseller at 22, I reply, “Not yet. But it’s coming.”

And yet, there are writers online who have never written a book. Just take a look around this platform, you’ll find a dozen or two writers who make more than $100,000 a year writing and have never written a book in their life.

Are they considered real writers? Of course.

This image we have — that to be a real writer, you have to write books — is outdated. The word writer stopped being an occupation term; instead, it became an umbrella term for a variety of occupations.

The question is not whether you’re a writer or not. You are.

The question is, what do you do when you’re a writer.

Blogging is the natural evolution of the writing profession.

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