Regardless of Credentials, Can Anyone Write a book and Be Called a Writer?

As you look around at every communication venue, we are not short of writers – the good, the bad and the ugly. People write about their personal platforms nowadays, and dub themselves as writers even when they have no concept of the craft. That is akin to someone who says they are a baker and pulls out a boxed package of cake mix. On the other hand, there are those who are committed to perfecting their craft and putting out the best of what they learned, developed and produced.

Amid the Casey Anthony “not guilty” verdict, for the horrific death of her two-year-old daughter, rumors rapidly spread that she was offered $1 million dollars to write a book. What? These reports go on to state that she is planning to write a book in order to share her insight about love, life and most important, God! What? When did she become a writer and what makes her an authority to share such advice? Whether or not this offer is still on the table is uncertain.

I continue to witness some exceptional writers having a difficult time breaking into the publishing industry. They try traditional methods and all too often receive generic rejection letters for their query or submission.

Several colleagues noted that so many people are obsessed with sensationalism versus sensitivity, ethics and rationalism. Despite the controversial nature of such cases as the Casey Anthony story, many people will make money off misery. Why? That is just how much of our society ticks. People want to know what’s in the minds of criminals and those accused of heinous crimes.

Personally, I do not necessarily believe that people who obscurely write should be called a writer, although some well-known writers sometimes tend to be obscure. Many people get ghostwriters to write for them, but sometimes the ghostwriter becomes the authority on your subject matter and your expertise could get lost in the shuffle. Case and point, I was watching an actress talking about a book she wrote, but during the interview, she was unable to intelligently answer questions about her book. Not good.

Although anyone can write a book, that does not always mean they can be considered a writer or author. Often traditional publishing houses and agents turn their backs to alternative publishing methods and say that the writers of these books aren’t considered true authors. I think good writing is good writing. If you have an audience and you market your book well, then I think the title of writer or author should fit perfectly. However, it can be a little disconcerting to dedicated writers when you hear rumors about people like Casey Anthony getting such a lucrative book deal!

Continue to perfect your craft, never give up and produce the very best writing that you can. Do not simply resign to write without purpose, but to write in order to be an encourager to others. Anyone can write, but to be called a professional writer is an honor and accomplishment.


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