Here’s what I know.
I know how to use a calculator to balance my checkbook, but that doesn’t make me an accountant.
I know I’m pretty handy with the mirror and a flashlight when examining moles for discoloration or suspicious changes, but I’m no dermatologist.
I also know there’s very little else that irks a writer more than when non-writers think they know how to write.
What’s a non-writer writer, you ask? Non-writer writers are a specific type of person, and they are often colleagues and even close friends to people like me, a writer writer. Non-writers have these funny little character traits in common with one another. They think they are writers even if they aren’t, which of course is like me calling myself a sports medicine doctor because I wrapped my boyfriend’s sprained ankle once.
Who is a Non-Writer Writer?
A non-writer writer has a writing need and follows up a meeting with a ten-page pdf email attachment outlining the project with “suggested copy.”
A non-writer writer is known to say: “I’m no writer, but …” and then continue to talk about what they would have done.
A non-writer writer will spend a whole week on one draft of a project proposal, the approximate time it would take an actual writer to draft five proposals and still have time for lunch and a nap.
A non-writer writer has never faced 40 hours a week navigating Microsoft Word exclusively.
A non-writer writer can’t make farm equipment, rectal exams or taxes seem exciting and compelling.
Now that I’ve briefly outlined who a non-writer writer is, perhaps you’ve identified with this personality a little more than you thought you would. Please don’t be offended. I’m not offended when people tell me I’m not an accountant or dermatologist! It’s perfectly fine to be a non-writer writer; the cure is simple: Next time you’re itching to say: “I’m no writer, but …” don’t say it at all, and let the writer writer in the room do what she does best: write.