Dear Writer: Yes! I Mean YOU

If you write, YOU are a writer. It doesn't make any difference whether you work as a waitress, a teacher or a basketball coach, you are a WRITER.

If you are a writer, you are also an ARTIST - a literary artist.

An actress who works as a waitress still tells people she is an actress. Because she is - even if she doesn't have a role at the moment. She is an artist - a theatrical artist.

A musician who drives a cab, still calls himself a musician. He is an artist - a musical artist.

These other artists recognize themselves as artists. Why do writers have such difficulty recognizing themselves artists?

Creative writing of all types is an art. It requires a unique gift, a talent, to paint pictures with words, to tell a story that has never been told.

Dear writer, when there is a call for artists to share their work, to collaborate with other artists, to support the arts - answer the call. Acknowledge our place among the arts. Acknowledge yourself as an artist.

Most of all, dear writer, PURSUE YOUR ART.

Work at your craft. Train with teachers of the craft. Gather with other artists in your field. Learn from one another.

And never, dear writer, never hide your art.

Your art is meant to be shared. It is meant to be read and to be heard. Your gift is a calling; it has a purpose. How can that purpose be fulfilled if you hide your art in the closet, a desk drawer or computer hard drive?

Say it with me: "I AM A WRITER. I AM AN ARTIST."

Own it. The rest of us need you to.