I Am Not A Writer. I Am Not A Photographer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANor do I play either on TV.  I have never been paid for either.  I have never really tried to get paid for either.

Which begs the question:

At what point can one consider oneself a writer or a photographer?

In his recent post, which I reblogged here, Art of Pouring My Art Out states that he is not a photographer.  I think Art does a fine job with his camera, and I believe his 3800+ followers would agree.

Jason Cushman, the Opinionated Man of Harsh Reality, claims not to be a writer, yet he has 62,300+ followers who eagerly flock to his site to see what he has to say today.

When I was growing up, the only way you could become a “writer” was to submit a poem or story to a local newspaper or, if you were extremely brave, write a book for submission to a publisher.  In other words, you had to be published somewhere, and it wasn’t easy.

At the age of 10, one of my drawings was reproduced in the magazine, Highlights for Children, so I guess that made me a published artist, right?  But writing?  Not so much. I did learn, however, the many creative ways that publishing houses had for wording those rejection letters.  Some were actually quite kind, considering my young age.

Now we have the internet – and Amazon – and blogs.  Anyone, anywhere, and of any age, can “publish” (read, share) a story, a poem, a photo, a painting or a drawing.  While it seems that most professional (i.e., paid for their work) photographers take in stride the pictures shared by the less talented, the professional writers (e.g., authors) sometimes become annoyed when a blogger claims to be a writer.

Our deceased blogging friend, Paul Curran, wrote stories better than any I’ve seen published in magazines or books, and I know for a fact he never received a penny for it.

So, I repeat the question.

Do we become writers or photographers only when someone is willing to pay us for it? 

or …

Are we writers or photographers by virtue of the fact that someone, somewhere enjoys our work?  And comes back for more.

I’d like to think it’s the latter.  What do you think?


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com


Image by Cordelia’s Mom


This entry was posted in Photography, Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to I Am Not A Writer. I Am Not A Photographer.

  1. I think being a writer or a photographer — unless you a claiming professional status — is stuff you do. I’m not a professional photographer. I never was. I always enjoyed it, but never wanted it to be my professional life.

    I WAS a writer, but the stuff i do now isn’t professional and that’s probably what I like best about it. When I worked professionally, I had a BOSS who told me what to SAY and in how many words TO SAY IT. Now, yay, I don’t have that.

    You write well. Are you a writer? Do you FEEL like a writer? Then maybe you are?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy taking photos. If someone enjoys reading and seeing my efforts, that’s great. My blog is a good outlet for both, so I go with the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GeorgieMoon says:

    You are definitely a writer and a photographer. You don’t necessarily need to have had stuff published. You write and take photos. Like me. People read them and look at them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. joey says:

    Great intro!
    I am a writer, published here and there, paid now and again, but even if I weren’t, I’d still be a writer, because I write. You had your art published, and many who have not are still artists. I suppose it’s different if your resume is loaded with photography jobs, but plenty of people are unpaid, unpublished photographers.
    Some people are selling shoes today, but they’re chefs. Ya know? Passions and all that. Art, it either elicits a response or it doesn’t.


  5. Victo Dolore says:

    I don’t think of myself as a writer or photographer either. I wonder what it would take for me to think of myself in that way? Meanwhile, I still miss Paul.


  6. Jane says:

    If a tree is in a forest that no one has walked in, is it still not a tree?
    My Yen for the day!


  7. We are what we do. Some are fortunate to be compensated for their effort, many are not. It doesn’t make the work any less valuable. There is a lot of good stuff happening here !


  8. Dan Antion says:

    I write things I want to say. I share photos that I’ve taken that I like, in the hope that someone else will also enjoy looking at them. If people like any of that, I feel good, but I’d write and share even if they didn’t (I did that for the first year or so on my blog). I used to get paid for making furniture – not enough to live on, but money. I’m still a woodworker, even though I’m no longer getting paid, so I guess I’m a writer. I’m not sure it matters, but yeah, I’ll go with that.


  9. Barry says:

    I’d identify a writer as someone who writes. If one gets paid for doing it then I’d call them a professional writer. Whether one is good at it has no bearing on whether one is professional or not. Our late blogging friend Paul is a good example of a great writer but most definitely not a professional writer. You are most definitely a writer. Dont let anyone convince you otherwise.


  10. All the bloggers I met are such gifted writers. And of course you included, CM! My English has improved a lot just by reading all the posts. (,,^・⋏・^,,) NBC


  11. Interesting. I don’t think of myself as a writer, or photographer, but I do both. It’s just a label. Something I do, among all the other stuff I do. I don’t think you have to be paid to be artist in any form. And just because a person’s paid doesn’t mean they’re necessarily any better than someone who isn’t. I guess validation comes from how you feel yourself, and not from any other source.


  12. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    I think we get too hung up on the technicalities of titles while we should simply embrace the spirit of the concept. You write therefor your are a writer. You take pictures therefor you are a photographer. Why does it need to be more complex than that?!


  13. Laura says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. Details are here: https://riddlefromthemiddle.com/2017/02/23/blogger-recognition-award/


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