WRITER:  The person or persona who is writing.

Are “we” all writers?  Certainly, in the act of writing or making marks on a page, everyone is a writer, but the question then quickly arises of how each of us defines this term “writer,” which is one that has a wide variety of definitions and associations.  Writing usually begins with some occasion for writing.  However, if you call yourself a writer, that occasion may just be the fact that writers write and you are a writer.  Although many years and many pages have been dedicated to trying to define this term and either encourage or dissuade people from referring to themselves as writers, I prefer to think about the term writer as one that quite literally applies to someone each time he or she makes a mark on a page.  In other words, I chose to set the question aside.  If you are writing, you are a writer.  If you are not writing, you may or may not be a writer.  I leave that up to you.  For our purposes, what is important is that you are engaged in an act of writing.  As such, you are communicating with someone, i.e., an audience.  This audience may consist solely of yourself, or it may be made up of another specific individual, or of thousands of people.  Regardless of its size, the audience is an important and dynamic concern in acts of writing and in one's writing process.  Furthermore, it is exactly here, with this issue and concern with audience, that "things," i.e., the many different issues involved in any act of communication using verbal language, get complicated.

Adapted from What Is Writing?: An Introduction to Writing as an Act and Medium of Communication (2015)

See Also: Professor Rodgers' Open Access English Handbook

© mimeograph 2018