Nine Ways That You’re Already a Writer

By Allie Funk, Graduate Student Tutor

Some people find the very idea of sitting down to write to be intimidating because they don’t identify as “writers.” If you view writing as a fine art that only a few can master, then yes, it’s going to seem like a gargantuan task every time you’re assigned a paper. “But I’m not a good writer!” is a very common statement; however, I’d challenge you to reframe that thought. Even if you’ve never kept a journal or written a story just for fun, writing is more prevalent in your life than you probably realize. Here are some examples of how you’re already a writer, even if you don’t know it:

  1. Texting

How many texts do you send a day? A lot? Well, there you go: you already have more daily writing experience than people who lived before SMS technology.

  1. Social Media

Facebook statuses and tweets are more obvious platforms for writing, but what about your Snapchat and Instagram captions? For the amount of effort you put into getting the perfect picture of your avocado toast, you can be certain that your hashtags count as writing.

  1. Class Notes

Even as you’re taking notes from a lecture, you’re paraphrasing, organizing, adding in new thoughts, and flexing that writing muscle.

  1. Lists

You grocery list? It counts. To-do list? Yup, that’s writing! Make as many beautiful lists as you want.

  1. Emails

Emailing counts as writing, whether it’s a note to a professor or a message to your mom asking her to stop forwarding you corny chain emails.

  1. All Of your Schoolwork Since Age 5

Don’t invalidate the fact that you have in fact been writing— a lot— for over a decade. Even if you don’t think that your middle school papers were “good,” experience is experience!

  1. Cards

Birthday cards, thank-you cards, postcards…these are all writing! Extra points if you take the time to scrawl out a personal message.

  1. Your College Applications

The very fact that you’re studying at a university proves that you’ve done a lot of writing to get here! Your application essay is the most obvious, but you also wrote up a storm with your CV/resume/activities list, short responses to any school-specific questions, and/or the entirety of your Common Application.

  1. Your Papers and Other Homework Now

Perhaps the most obvious writing you’re currently doing is, well, the writing you’re currently doing. No matter what your major is, you’re getting writing experience in your schoolwork.

Don’t believe me that any of the above makes you a writer? Well, try asking yourself this instead: How many times a day do you pick up a pen? How many times a day do you open your computer and start typing? If you look at it this way, I think you’ll see that you’re writing on a daily basis way more than you give yourself credit for. So pat yourself on the back: you, my friend, are a writer.

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