Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thoughts in Response to Tate's Last Post

According to Patrick, everyone thinks they are or can be a writer, because they are literate and can read or write. Maybe we should give up the word writing for what we do and call it 'authoring.'

Writing a novel is not the same as writing a grocery list. Being a writer is not the same as being literate. Using the same word for both is misleading.

People are also confused about what makes a writer because there isn't an obvious credentialing process. You don't need a college degree or a license -- though many 'literary' writers get an MFA, which is useful for teaching.

For the sf community, the credentials are sales to a pro market, membership in SFWA, selling a novel, making a living at writing.

But one can write for a long time -- and write well -- before gaining sf pro credentials.

It took me a long, long time to call myself a writer, because I was uncertain what the word meant. I think I decided I was a writer after I won the Tiptree Award for my fourth novel.

I do my blog because I want people to be able to find me on the Internet; and I want the blog to be current because nothing says "not here" like an out-of-date website or blog. I don't get paid, but I figure it's a very modest form of self-promotion, similar to the postcards or bookmarks many authors get printed up when a book comes out.

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