If I’m not a writer, then what am I?

Sometimes I ask myself a really tricky question, which goes like this: Who am I to ____? Fill in the blank with just about whatever you like.

Who am I to have a blog? Who am I to host a podcast? Who am I to ask for crowdfunding support? Who am I to start a business? Who am I to make a video?

[Fair warning, my keyboard has several sticky buttons including the period, so please excuse any missing ‘.’ ‘d’ or ‘k’]

Well basically that could just go on and on. It’s something I struggle with repeatedly. And I guess in those moments, I find some comfort in the label I’ve given myself: “Writer.”

Just yesterday Zsolt said something to me that has gotten me thinking. He revealed he’s been considering this for some time. . . trying to understand what I do, or what I am? And not too long ago, he finally found the answer

“You are not a writer,” he tells me.

And that’s confusing. Because if I’m not a writer, then how did I write this blog these past four years, or those articles, or those posts across the internet, or my beloved novel Claire Never Ending?

“What do you mean I’m not a writer?”

Calling myself a writer has been really good for me. It’s given me courage to answer that question: “Who am I to?” with the answer of “I’m a writer, damn it!”

“You’re not a writer,” Zsolt says to me again. And then he explains how when people ask him, when is her next book coming out – and he sees I’m not actually working on a next book — he’s never sure what to say.

(This actually gives me very clear flashbacks to family gatherings around various holidays when people ask: So what are you doing? And for years upon years I’d reply, “Ahhh. Punch bowl.” Then disappear to get another drink.

So you see, when I found the title of writer and tried it on, it became a ‘job’ description that I really quite enjoy. It fits me well. I don’t make any money from it – or rather, the money I make from writing stems from clients ideas, or website design, or social management, all very nice, too.  But when I say I’m a writer, I’m not actually thinking of my work. I’m thinking of the blog posts, guest posts, articles, chapters, challenges, stories . . .

Anyhow, all that to say, the label gives me courage and congruency at those awkward family gatherings.

So, the big Z really threw me with his conclusion that I’m not a writer.

“Why am I not a writer?” I ask him.

“You’re a creator,” he replies. “You are a media person, and content maker, a person who has to make things”

Hmm. I actually rather like that. I’m a writer, for sure, and don’t you forget it, but I’m also . . . a creator. I create things. Sometimes it’s art. Sometimes it’s a t-shirt. Other times it’s a video. And this is all okay, I guess, because I have a label to give me courage: I’m a creator and I like to tell stories. I guess I’m a creative multi-media storyteller. It’s not going to go on my business card, but I think perhaps at my core & behind it all, I really am this.

I’m also a business woman, entrepreneur, endurance lifer, wife, traveller, house keepr, company manager, book shelver, co-host, WRITER, advocate, community lover, storyteller, doodler, learner . . . with all these hats, it’s no wonder my love is feeling confused as to what exactly I do.

But like I say, that’s not something to put on a resume. And definitely not something to tell the customs agent when they ask what I do for a living.

However, he has gotten me thinking. And so maybe next time I’m feeling uncertain, I can reference his broad and generous conclusion. Who am I to _____? I’m Catherine Brunelle, damn it!

And that is all I have to say about that.

For now.

The end.

12 thoughts on “If I’m not a writer, then what am I?

  1. I would agree with big Z that you are a creator – and an entrepreneur.

    These days, an artist / creator / writer needs other skills like marketing, publicity and web design under their belts. I like to think anyone can be a writer and should be a writer as it is such a wonderful way to rediscover oneself, to learn, share and grow. It would also be a shame to see cursive writing die, to fizzle into indecipherable scrawls.

    Best wishes from another one-book author and perpetual blogger.


  2. To me you are a writer in addition to being a wonderful and wise person who inspires us with your words. Your writing has style, is refreshing and close to your heart … isn’t that what a writer is? …someone who writes from the heart and inspires others with their words?

    There are many wonderful pieces that you have written which could be compiled into several books on different themes. If I were a publisher, or a person with lots of money, I would take your writing (with your permission) and publish them into several books.

    The fact is, you write. You write on the Internet, and your words are heard by many of us. Catherine, your ARE a writer, and a good one!

  3. Around my neck of the woods we call that job description Marketing Content Manager – creating content, whether it is visual, written, websites, contests, t-shirts, etc. to generate interest to help with social media help with search engine rankings. I figured I would throw out that it is actually a job description/position at companies these days. I have one on my team, I look for creators to do it. 😀

  4. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  5. I like the idea of a marketing content manager. Mainly these days, though, I “merely” write. I don’t have the energy or stamina to do other creative things. But I admire those like you who do. You are a writer, and a darn good one, too! xox

    • Hi Jan, I wanted to leave a commnet on your blog today, but had trouble. So, sending you a big hug from up here in Canada. So sorry the giveaway is over. I’ll let you know if more of these shirts come into being 🙂

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