The ability to write is a necessity in every stage of education and the career field beyond; however, few people are willing to label themselves as “writers.” It is especially important that students adopt the mindset that they are “writers” because writing is something they are required to do frequently. Believing you are a “writer” makes writing seem easier and a more innate part of your abilities. However, students often have an incorrect idea of what it means to be a “writer,” thinking that to be a “writer” is to be a published author or someone who always enjoys the writing process. This article analyzes three key definitions of the word “writer,” evaluating the definitions for their usefulness and the effect they have on students. In writing centers, it is essential to gently correct students’ misinterpretation of the word “writer” by providing them the word’s true and simple definition: the ability to write. This enables students to free themselves of the mental cage that prevents them from identifying as “writers.” It is crucial to show students that everyday writing (such as drafting text messages, Instagram posts, and emails) requires the same skills as academic writing, and these skills are what make them “writers.”
Dykman, Hayley, "The Writer: An Endangered Species" (2018). Tutor's Column. Paper 27.