The Definition of a Writer

3 Oct

003Happy Thursday to you all!  I hope this finds you well.  Shall we begin?

What is a writer?  I’m going to write an article about this topic in a few days, but today I’m going to take a different route in answering that question.

If you were to look at the dictionary definition of a writer you would find:

: someone whose work is to write books, poems, stories, etc.

: someone who has written something


Well that’s a bit nebulous if you ask me.  Someone who has written something? Come on Websters; you can do better than that.  Does that mean someone who writes a grocery list is a writer?  I think not, and yet they certainly fit under the second definition.

But what about the first definition:  someone whose work is to write books, poems, stories, etc……the word ‘work’ throws me just a bit.  Does that mean writing in pursuit of money?  Do you see why I’m having trouble with the concept of what a writer is?

So let me tell you what I think a writer is.  A writer is a person who puts one word in front of another, and another, and another, in an attempt to advance literature.  To my way of thinking, it all comes down to intent.  If your intention is to improve your skills and in so doing to better the art of writing, then in my opinion you are a writer; if your intention is to simply make money without any consideration to the art of writing, then you are not a writer.

Snobbish for sure but there you have it.  Writing is a craft…part of the arts….THE ARTS….and it needs to be treated as an art form.  I don’t care if you just write blogs or if you are a content writer or a writer on Bubblews or just write for yourself….if your intent is to improve your craft then in my book (pun intended) you are a writer. Otherwise, if you are just writing for clicks and views, you are nothing more than an accountant.


Try writing in a different genre.  I said for years that I could not write poetry, but I forced myself to write a poem titled “I Cry Real Tears.”  It did not springboard me to fame but it did help me, in the long run, to write better free-form prose and so it was well-worth the effort.


Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.
Anthony J. D’Angelo


Another opportunity for self-improvement as a writer is to enter a contest and test your skills against thousands in a competition.  Here’s one that might interest you.  The Baltimore Review’s Winter Contest has several genres that you can enter, and the entry fee is only $10.  I believe the entry deadline is November 30thYou can find the details here.


Bevs pics 003

I wrote an article yesterday about using all five senses when writing to appeal to the reader.  Try it on this picture.  Use your five senses to describe this prompt.


I’m over 500 words and that is more than enough to get my point across. I hope you found this helpful. In no way am I trying to insult anyone regarding the definition of writing.  I just feel strongly that real writers should try to advance their craft and improve.

Have a great day and a great weekend.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


36 Responses to “The Definition of a Writer”

  1. Janine Huldie October 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Perfect day for that definition, because I have been informed the book that I am a part of with 29 other blogger contributors is now available on Amazon and will be making the formal announcement on Amazon. So excited and just can’t believe it.

    By the way, my girls loved the picture of the dog and could probably write a whole passage on their take of it!! Happy Thursday and we have almost made it to the weekend again 🙂

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Well congratulations, Janine! That is great news my friend and you are well-deserving. As for your girls…tell them hi for me and give them a hug.

  2. Shauna October 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Bill, speaking of grocery lists and poetry…. I’m still waiting for the grocery list poem I challenged you to when I took you up on the challenge you posed to your HP readers. That was, hmmmm… how many months ago? 🙂

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Interestingly, Sha, the title is still waiting on the desktop. Seems I’m not too eager to tackle that one. LOL thanks for the reminder. 🙂

      • Shauna October 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

        Are you not the one who taught me to tackle my creative fears? No push – just sayin’. 🙂

      • Shauna October 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        P.S. How do I get my avatar to show in your comments? I’m not sure I like being a gold box.

      • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

        Sha, I do recall that and ps…I have no idea how to get avatars…LOL

    • Liz October 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Sha, go to if you want your photo to show up instead of the generic avatar.

  3. Randee October 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    There is only one thing I would change in your definition of a writer. Instead of “A writer is a person who puts one word in front of another, and another, and another…” I would say a writer is a person who puts one word after another, and another, and other. That’s how I write, but I could be doing it wrong.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      I doubt you are doing it wrong, Randee, and thanks for adding to the definition. 🙂

  4. froggy213 October 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I must give a big AMEN to this post. If that is snobbish–you just keep being snobbish my friend.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      Thank you Greg. It’s nice to know others feel the same way.

  5. Audrey Howitt October 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I sometimes think of poetry as the distillation of writing. Brevity forces art in that way. So an amen to the artistic nature of writers–of all writers who seek it and practice it, and who thrive on it–Happy Thursday to you!

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Beautifully stated, Audrey, and amen indeed. Thank you and I hope your day is everything you want it to be.

  6. Kelly Umphenour October 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    You’re a great writer! I am a scribbler working my way up to a writer:) I did love the picture of the dog too!

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      Kelly, thank you so much but I do not agree about you being a scribbler….I’ll sing your praises any old day. 🙂

  7. Melanie Chisnall October 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    So fitting to read this today because the more I do copywriting, the more I am enjoying it. Something about making an audience fall in love with your words – really grabs me. But I’m still new to this whole writing gig thing, so I’ll try and change and stumble and fall and find my way eventually. Thanks Bill! 🙂

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Mel, I am so happy that you are loving your job. We all stumble in the writing business; it’s nice to have friends who understand and support us….thank you Mel.

  8. Cygnet Brown October 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Hi Bill,
    I think that writers lose their “edge” when they are not growing and developing their writing skills and observations. What makes a writer a writer? I would say that what makes a writer a writer has to do with that writer’s connection with the universe and whether it is in the present or not. I feel as though I, as a writer, follow the axiom “I am, therefore I write.”

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Love it, cygnet….and I totally agree. Grow or become stagnant. The choice is ours as writers.

  9. Marissa - Tiny Pilgrim October 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Bill, I like this! Great advice. It’s funny you say that writers should try to write in a different genre. I found an old journal of mine.. like 7th, 8th grade. And in it… I found that all I had written at that time was poetry. Though it was my own writing, it completely shocked me. Just as I have grown and evolved, so has my writing. It was really interesting to read my poetry and it, admittedly, was pretty dark. We all go through that pubescent dark age!

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Oh we do for sure, Marissa. I had my days when I wouldn’t let sunshine even approach my writing. Glad those days are over and I can filter my words with a little light now and then. 🙂 Good to see you as always; thanks young lady.

  10. Leonas Lines-Poetry Plus October 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    For me writing is expressing my thoughts and feelings on paper, at times to encourage or inspire others, or at other times to do the same for myself. For me writing is not about making money, it is just sharing what I have within me with others or with myself–it is something I feel called to do, something I have to do….whether it is just journaling out my thoughts for myself or writing poems and articles to share. I have always loved to write, but never really thought I was a writer until 2006 when I became serious about it. And just recently I found I was a poet also and I am having a great time investigating all the different poetry styles as I challenge myself daily to write a poem.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Leonas, that is a comment that I absolutely love…writing for the sake of writing and the love of writing. Bravo!

  11. Liz October 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    You obviously didn’t read the kick-ass grocery list I wrote this morning.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      LOL…art comes in many forms, Lizzy. 🙂 Thanks for the laugh.

  12. i'mkarn October 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Love your stuff, Bill. I never wrote in pursuit of money, it never occurred to me actually…lol..
    Hubpages took great pleasure in de-ad-ing my hubs, and other than the narrow-mindedness of it – i couldn’t care less..
    the stories/book? a price was suggested and i’m like – no – make it less..
    i just want to write..and be read…is that bad?
    LOVE the prompt..

    • Billybuc October 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Sis, that’s called writing for the pure pleasure of writing…how could that possibly be bad? I wish more writers cared that much for the craft of writing. 🙂

      love you


  13. Love Doctor October 4, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Nice post. I like your definition of a writer. The Baltimore Review’s Contest sounds like a great idea. I will check it out. I’m going to see what I come up with using this picture.

    • Billybuc October 4, 2013 at 2:24 am #

      Hey Doc! Thanks for stopping by. Give the contest a try; who knows, right? Somebody has to win. 🙂

  14. ruchira October 4, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    grocery list…haha
    Sure that is creative too, Bill.

    But on a serious note…you are right…got to achieve new avenues cause stagnancy can be very depressing.

    • Billybuc October 4, 2013 at 3:50 am #

      Ruchira, stagnancy is real bad for this man. Thank you for stopping by so late tonight. Have a great weekend.

  15. Hawaiian Odysseus (@LORDSOFTHEFLY) October 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Hi, Bill!

    Just wanted to weigh in on the action and share my five cents. (I actually found a nickel on my walk the other day…people wonder what I find so fascinating about the ground in front of me. LOL!)

    Something you wrote jolted me into a familiar yet always relevant realization.

    Here’s the umbilical cord between the two activities…

    We keep putting one word (step) in front of another, and another, and another, in an attempt to advance literature (the journey).

    The epitome for either form of life engagement is when the effort becomes unconscious.

    And on that note, I’ll bid you a fond aloha, my friend, and I’m off to discover the mischief of the day!


    • Billybuc October 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      Good morning Joe and Aloha

      So good to see you this morning weighing in on my nonsense. 🙂 Keep your head down and you might find enough to retire on.

      Have a great weekend buddy. I think it is supposed to be sunny here…crossing my fingers.


  16. Tillsontitan October 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    In no way could helpful information be an insult! Your ‘helpful hints’ are gospel to some of us!

    • Billybuc October 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Thank you Mary! I don’t ever want to be accused of lecturing or talking down to anyone; just trying to help. 🙂

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