I Am No Writer

I posted this image last week to Instagram, and someone asked about it:

An important distinction. #amwriting

What do I mean by this? Why would I claim to not be a writer, but rather a storyteller?

What I mean is simply this: I am more focused on the final product than I am the process. Writing is the job; writing is the work. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, because the writing is necessary. But sticking with my metaphor from my post about first drafts, I find it helpful to maintain my focus not on the laying of the pipe or the pouring of the foundation or the running of the wires, but on the final product: the house. Or, in my case, the story.

It’s the story that’s why I’m doing all this. It’s the story whose needs I have to service. It’s the story that I have to do well. It’s the story that readers will hopefully care about, and it’s the story that I hope will bring them back for the next one.

One can write a lot of things without being a storyteller. Writing is a skill with a lot of possible end goals, and the process can lead in a lot of different directions. And I do think about process a lot — in fact, I’ve yet to meet a writer who doesn’t! But in terms of defining who I am, I choose to focus on the goal and not the process.

Mine is storytelling.

What’s yours?


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