Not on Writing, but on Being a Writer

Self-identity nouns should be given great weight. Like more weight than those things our grandparents used to keep papers from flying away on a desk of whichever mid-century school of design was their preference.

One of my generation’s most gratuitous self-identity nouns is “foodie.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the following Twitter bios:

Writer, Dog-Lover, Foodie

Packers Fan, Aspiring Cellist, Foodie

Stripper, Pop Star, Foodie

Died last Tuesday, Foodie

You know that really intense almost physical reaction you have to seeing a cute kitten or puppy? The opposite of that

I feel like one needs to reach a certain level of commitment and experience to something before using it as a self-identity word. I’m not saying you need to publish a best-selling novel or land an internship at an easy beach-read mag like The Economist, but if writing is what your soul breathes, you are a writer.

I read this article that introverts are more likely than extroverts to only identify as one thing. So this could be my personality dictating my opinion (OMG BRAIN, FREE WILL), but I think in order to be brilliant at anything you have to be pretty aggressive about it, leaving little time for being considerably above average at anything else. This means that maybe we can only truly have one self-identity noun that is skill-based at a time. That means that maybe we shouldn’t waste it on “foodie” unless your soul craves good food above all else.

As a side note, I appreciate good food. It’s just not my word.


13 thoughts on “Not on Writing, but on Being a Writer

  1. Matthew Wright says:

    Mine neither. As for ‘writer’, I feel I can call myself that these days. But I had been writing on a professional basis for years and had quite a number of books published before I felt it was a label I wanted.

  2. Brenda Knowles says:

    I’m an introvert. Most days my mind can only be aggressively passionate about one thing. This is why I struggle being a mother and writer. I’d like to read the article you mentioned. What was the title? Interesting points.

  3. beckydancer says:

    I agree with your statement about the word “foodie,” but I think that people (or me, anyway) can identify as more than one thing with conviction. Interestingly enough, I consider myself an extrovert, so perhaps that distinction is accurate. Thanks for posting on such an interesting topic.

  4. Mich-in-French says:

    I can never understand why any of us actually want to fall under a label? But we always conform and put the labels down and box ourselves in… funny how we are wired to do that. On the other hand if we do feel comfortable under the label then just go for it – its all about conviction and passion in the end i suppose. An interesting topic with some good ‘food’ for thought.

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