Monday, 23 April 2018

What does it mean to be a writer? by Jason P. Crawford

It’s a rhetorical question (something writers are fond of, except when we’re not), one that no one is expected to answer definitively. The word means different things to different people, and each person’s definition is, of course, valid for them. But as someone who is (in his own mind, at least) a writer, I wanted to throw my hat into the ring and plant my flag.

As a writer, I write things. That’s the simplest part of the definition and easiest box to check. I put words down from my brain into a format that other people can interact with. Specifically, I write fiction, ghostwrite, and edit others’ works. I’ve published seven novels and two short stories. But is that enough to consider myself a “writer?” Is there some other, more technical quality that needs to be achieved?

Perhaps monetary success. Maybe writers can call themselves such when they can pay their bills with their work…or at least one of them. On some months, that’s true – I might make enough off my books to pay my internet bill for the month, or take my family out to dinner. Most of the time, that’s not the case. So that’s not it, at least for me. It might be for you.

Acclaim? My books have solid reviews, each with an average of over 4 stars on every outlet they’re available. There aren’t a lot of them – my best has 37 – but those do make me happy. I check my books every few days to see if a new review has popped up, and the good ones make me smile while the bad ones make me think. Both are appreciated. But do they make me a writer?

Your answers to the above are your answers, obviously. I can’t tell you whether or not you’re a writer, or your friend is, or your cousin. And I don’t have to. All I need to know is what it means to me: that I create stories that people enjoy. That I, as the first reader of my own work, smile and laugh and have to walk away because the emotions are getting so high I need a break. That my wife, who graces me with her talents as my alpha reader and primary editor, gives me the go-ahead after grueling weeks of editing, cutting, and rewrites, telling me that the story is ready.

I am a writer because I write. That’s the truth of it.

Jason P. Crawford

Jason P. Crawford was born in Louisiana in 1981. His writing career began in 2012, when he sat down for some “writing time” with his wife and sister-in-law. He has always been fascinated by the magic in the real world, leading him to focus most of his efforts on urban fantasy and science fiction. 

In addition to publishing his own work, he has spent time as a freelance writer, preparing articles and ghost-writing for others. In addition to Chains of Prophecy, Jason has completed The Drifter, a story about gods walking in the world of men, as well as Dragon Princess, describing the Princess Amalia Therald’s true heritage and her struggles to live up to it. His life as a husband, father, and teacher (as well as hardcore gamer) have opened up and nurtured a wealth of imagination and given Jason a tendency to flights of fancy, and those flights give rise to his work.

My book review blog, Beyond the Curtain of Reality: