Monday, October 29, 2012


by C. Hope Clark

As writers, we live in this conundrum where we have to
flaunt ourselves as professional scribes on one hand,
yet not overdo it and brag on the other. I think we
fear the notion that people won't believe we can
write. . . fear it more than anything on the planet.
We run into sayings like:

You're not a writer until you're published.

Self-publishing doesn't count.

Where have you published?

As Neil Gaiman said recently at a graduation ceremony
in Pennsylvania for a school on the arts (paraphrasing):
We are afraid someone will call us a fraud.

Even when writers transition to authors, and see their
books on Amazon, in Barnes & Noble, and even in the hands
of readers, they worry that someone will read their stories,
point a finger and holler, "Fraud! You're not a writer!"

You know you think that. Most writers do. Yet when someone
does say you haven't paid your dues, or you stand beside
someone who's achieved a higher rung on the ladder, you
feel the need to hide the fact that you do write.

On the other hand, sometimes you watch others shouting
out that they are writers when they haven't accomplished
much, and the tables turn . . . you question their audacity
to brag about what they haven't accomplished.

You're a writer. There isn't a defined line in the sand,
a mandatory degree or technical accreditation for writing.
You write or you don't.

But the truth is in the action, not the talking about it.
Shut up and write. Let the wannabe's chatter and make all
the noise while you, my friend, are quietly doing the
only thing that defines you . . . actually writing.

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