Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!


When people ask what I do, I find that saying “I’m a writer.” is immediately followed by that question.

“Are you published?”

As if being published is what makes one a writer. 

When I meet a fellow writer the conversation is a bit different after I declare myself a writer, another in the trenches will often ask, “What genre?”

As if a writer can be defined in a genre.

When I look in the mirror and proclaim, “I am a writer.”

My self replies, ” You’re not published, you have no idea what you are doing, and if you are and writer, then why are you looking at yourself in the mirror and not in the chair tapping out words?”

It seems being a writer is not as easy as one may think.  

To you, the non-writer, publication is my goal. I want my words placed in your hands to take you to the world I see, to meet the rich, fantastic people I meet there in those places.  I long to share with you a collection of pages that will fascinate you and make you laugh and yes, even cry.  I dream one day of walking in a room seeing you holding a book I have slaved over for a year or more, your smile, your tears your life made better by the choices I made, the characters I developed, the arcs, the plots, the painstaking outline of choices, does he live? does she run? I did all of this for you!

To you, the fellow writer, allow me the freedom to explore, don’t bind me to genre.  I am a poet, I am a novelist, I find a story everywhere I look.  I can dig out valuable information that may make a better world. We are writers because words are what drive us. I usually don’t fit in a group, that is why I write, to find a place I belong.  You understand this, I know you do.  Instead, let’s ask, What are you currently writing? Tell me more.

To me, myself, stop doubting you, you may not be published yet, but that doesn’t mean you are not a writer, it means you are a yet to be published writer.  The story is there, deep in you, move from the mirror to the chair because you can.

I love saying I am a writer because I am.

4 thoughts on “When I say, “I’m a writer…”

  1. cpluzc says:

    That’s a writer! Writing your own words. You published on this remarkable platform, as many likes do.

  2. tshawwriter says:

    Love the rhythm in this piece. 💜

  3. It gets an even better reaction if you say you’re a children’s author – “oh, is that all…”

  4. Poetic truth! Thanks for sharing, because so many of us writers forget that our “need to write comes from the need to make sense of on’e life and discover one’s usefulness.” Not so we can scream we’re published, or write a certain genre, and definitely not to beat ourselves up over our (in)action. Your post is useful in deed.

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