Debbie Kane is a Public Relations consultant, freelance writer, and journalist who is a friend and lives in my same hometown of Exeter, New Hampshire. I love her answer to the question Why I Write because it gets beyond what a writer is supposed to be and talks about what a writer can be. It's a big world filled with words and all of these words are created by thoughtful, intelligent people who love to write.
Why I Write
The last time I edited my LinkedIn profile, I was stumped. What do I call myself? Writer? Journalist? Copywriter? Or go newfangled with "content creator"?
In reality, I'm all four. Despite calling writing a full time career for eight years, only recently have I embraced being a "Writer," with a capital W.
I used to believe that you could only be a Serious Writer after reaching certain milestones: a byline, a studio apartment in Manhattan, lots of witty friends, a book, a book tour. I eventually got there – to Manhattan, anyway, and I love my friends – but used to consider myself a writer (no caps) because I don't write the big stuff. My bread and butter is writing the things you don't think deeply about: a college admissions brochure, the invitation to a holiday party, the web page that explains why your trees need to be trimmed.
What changed my perspective was this comment by another writer: "Debbie, you're such a great writer. Why are you wasting your time with fluff?" At first, I was miffed. Then, I realized I ENJOY what I do. I've delved into topics as varied as industrial design, kitchen remodeling, wedding planning and how to make the perfect martini, met tons of interesting people, and get to work from home in yoga pants (well, most of the time). This work has freed me up creatively to start projects that are personally important to me.
I love this quote by language scholar Walter Ong, who said that written language is "...absolutely necessary for the development not only of science but also of history, philosophy, explicative understanding of literature and of any art, and indeed for the explanation of language (including oral speech) itself … Writing heightens consciousness."
Note that Ong doesn't distinguish between types of writing. So I'm calling myself Writer with a W. Or perhaps Fluff Queen. Feel free to connect with me.
Debbie Kane balances writing about various lifestyle topics with attempts at mastering social media. Her latest passion is oral storytelling. More at debbiekanewriter.com.