Other Cool Blogs: Medium 10/16/2021

A friend, Murray “MJ” Blehart, writes for Medium and posed a question on 10/16/2021, “With Only a Few Readers, Can I Still Call Myself a Writer?“.

This is a question approached from a dozen different angles by writers I know. Some just starting out, some suffering from Imposter Syndrome, some long-term writers through non-standard mediums, etc.

“I just write fan-fic.” — guess what, that is writing. You are a writer.

“I’ve never posted anything. I just write to write.” — Still a writer.

“I’m only self-published and only sold three ebooks outside of what my mom and best friend bought.” — Wow, not only a writer, but a PROFESSIONAL writer. (If you have ever been paid for words you made, that makes you a professional.)

Some people think writing is a straight, broad path everyone shares, but is is more like a trail system in a national park. No single path is the best or most interesting. Some people just want to go a little ways into the woods. Other people take in their survival gear. Some people stick to level ground, other people need climbing equipment. Fan-fic, podcast scripts, blogs, short stories, non-fiction articles, novels, sequential stories, hobby, distraction, income stream, – each is a different path.

Just like a hiker is a hiker, no matter the trail, just so long as they are walking – a writer is a writer so long as they are creating words. A professional writer has been paid at least once; an author has completed a manuscript.

Comparing paths between writers is like comparing trails – they are all beautiful, complicated in their own way, and appropriate for exploration – but saying one is more “right” than another is like comparing a sunset to a cloudless day.

But, central to the question MJ is asking, is how does Readership impact being a Writer. In my opinion, it doesn’t. I write because I enjoy it. Most people do. Reading adds an interaction to the writing and helps me improve my writing – just like taking a trail with another hiker will point out things you have never seen before.

On the other hand, Readership is a business question. I have mentioned before the hats a Professional writer needs to wear. Once writing is chosen to be more than a hobby, and instead an income stream, consideration of Readership (not just readers) comes into play. Switching hats from the word-smith to the word-seller, what is “selling” (bringing in the money) must be considered. Only a few readers means not making enough to “earn a living” or at least covering the cost of writing (my goal). I will write a future blog about finding Income Streams in the Writing Trail System.

Read the original article and write comments below on what you think. Again, the link to the original post is here: https://mjblehart.medium.com/with-only-a-few-readers-can-i-still-call-myself-a-writer-ae754b2db012