Who gets to call themselves a writer?

I went to my local credit union the other day to open a new account. The clerk asked me what my profession was I said, “writer, I think.”

“You think?” she asked, fingers hovering over the keyboard.

My brain came up with the millions of reasons why I can’t call myself a writer: I’ve only self-published, my books have been rejected by traditional publishers, I do things besides writing to pay my bills, I only have a few thousand followers, I’ve never been in the NYTimes, my work is common and not special, and on and on and on.

There are a million things I haven’t done that writers do.

But there’s one thing I do every single day that makes me a writer: I write.

No, I don’t sit down and write the world’s most magnificent prose every day of my life, but I text friends, I journal, I tweet, I blog, I make notes on my phone, I write diatribes no one will ever read, I email, and yes, I even work on books sometimes.

To be a writer you must write. That’s it.

Which means I am a writer.

And so are you.

If you’re struggling with feeling like you deserve the title writer, read this: Yes, you are a writer. Here’s why.

It’s a love note I wrote you about a year ago, one I needed to read myself today.

With love and light,


P.S. Want some help getting your butt in the chair and writing? Check out my coaching and accountability programs.

This week’s writerly resources:

  • Gina Mai is “looking for people who have strong feelings about “Mulan” (especially fellow Chinese American writers who were still kids when it came out) for a lil something on Shondaland. Get at me: pitches@shondaland.com.
  • Literary agent Pam is Looking for my romance and YA published authors who want to moonlight as well-paid video game writers. Pam@crazymaplestudio.com.
  • Writers, musicians, singers, and screenwriters are encouraged to apply to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Summer Residency through the National Parks Arts Foundation. Includes housing and a $2000 stipend.
  • The Firelight Media Documentary Lab is an 18-month fellowship program that supports filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities working on their first or second feature-length documentary film.
  • Hugo House seeks a summer intern to support its Scribes writing camp for middle- and high-school students.
  • Writing of all kinds wanted by Eclectica Magazine.

Thanks to Submittable for a lot of these links. Got a resource you want to share with others? Reply to this email and let me know.

What we’re loving right now (books, blogs, movies, art, etc.):

  • Finally read Dietland by Sarai Walker and now I want to join a militant feminist group that fights dieting with riots. Who’s in?! Also this tweet by Sarai to the NYTimes is badass.
  • I asked the Binders and Book Marketing group on Facebook for their#ownvoices books (diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group) to share with you, here are some of them:
    • Love Sick by Cory Martin, a memoir about living with MS and navigating a career and a dating life with chronic illness.
    • After the Gold by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese is a sports romance set in the world of competitive figure skating. The heroine is bisexual and has an anxiety diagnosis, just like both of its authors (one of us identifies as a woman, and one of us identifies as non-binary). The ebook will be out June 12, with paperback following later in the month.
    • The Braid by Lauren Levin is a book of poetry written through postpartum depression & anxiety that handles pregnancy and early parenting through a queer feminist lens. Here’s the publisher’s description: THE BRAID is a fever dream of pregnancy and early parenting in the era of the police state. Meditative and urgent, it interrogates the idealized portrait of mother and child to wind up somewhere much messier. A love poem shot through with ambivalence; a sustained fuck–you to Ronald Reagan and his legacy; a moment of feminist possibility on the far side of collapse.”

Got a book or article you’re loving right now? Created something you’d like to share with other readers? Reply to this message and I’ll include your recommendation in a future newsletter. Also, let’s connect on Goodreads!

Please note: some of these links above may be affiliate links, meaning I get a % if you make a purchase on the site it links to. Affiliate linking helps keep my newsletter and blog going, but I promise to only suggest things I love.