What is it that makes one a writer? At what point is it legitimate to call oneself a writer? These seem to be common questions discussed at writer's festivals as people try to make sense of their interest in writing and attempts at or hopes of becoming a writer.
For some people who do call themselves writers, it was only when they had published a book that they felt they could use the title. For others, articles and blogs fill their writing life so it seems legitimate to call themselves writers as they spend time writing and others read it. People who write for their work or study purposes often feel like they are not writers although they may write all day long.
Perhaps there's always been something glamorous or romantic about the idea of being a writer. The idea of having knowledge or ideas that the rest of us don't have, and a way to put words together that eludes non-writers. In the old days sitting at a typewriter is how the writer would have spent their day, locked away from the world at large. Now it's possible to write on iPhones, iPads and laptops. Some writers still like the feel of the old typewriter and use it as inspiration. Others write when and wherever they can, like on trains or in cafes.
Attending writers festivals and events, participating in short courses and engaging with online writing are all ways we can gain a glimpse into a writer's world. We can begin to see that we can all be writers, if we choose it as a way to spend our time. There are many ways to engage, many ways to write and much to write about. There's no need for perfection anymore with avenues for support and feedback available to enhance our work. We can become a writer in many different ways.
It can take a long time before the writer feels confident enough to call themselves a writer. Basically, I think that if you write and share your words outside of your home, with good reactions to your words, then you can call yourself a writer!