Which begs the question:
At what point can one consider oneself a writer or a photographer?
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?
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?
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom