When Does A Writer Become A Writer

And Who Decides?

When Does A Writer Become A Writer

Today's blog is not so much a blog as it is a question.  Over the past year or so, I've read many articles on how bloggers aren't considered 'real' writers.  How anyone can throw up a blog using a template and start putting words out into the internety world. 

I've read that bloggers write, but not really. They aren't necessarily paid. They didn't go to school to learn their craft.  So how can they legitimately call themselves writers?

And in a way, I understand it.  I mean, I wouldn't paint a water colour picture at my kitchen table and call myself an artist. Nor would I write a limerick and call myself a poet.

But I'm also one of those who originally, five years ago, put up a blog using a template and started to write.  For free.  With no intention of actually turning my blog into a business but purely for the sake of writing.  I also didn't go to school to learn how to write.  I was just writing. Or, I guess, blogging since to many I wasn't considered a real writer.

Two years ago I was at a media event.  It was a one hour bus ride to and from the event and on the way back, I closed my eyes to relax and started listening to a conversation across from me.  The woman was a journalist who worked for a large newspaper.  She said in very clear terms that bloggers weren't writers.  Bloggers undermined real writing.  I never said a word but it left me wondering who and what I was in terms of writing.

I pondered that question for a long time. It left me feeling unbalanced and slightly insecure.  Does everyone feel this way?  What was I?  Am I legitimate?  I was finally able to answer that question for myself - something I think we all have to do.

So I'd like to know what you think?  What do you consider yourself - a writer or a blogger?  And is there a difference?  If so, what makes that difference? Is it getting paid to write?  Your education?  Or something else. 


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The CN Tower Edge Walk

Overcoming My Fear Of Heights

The CN Tower Edge Walk

I am a control freak who’s deathly afraid of heights and quite frankly, not too fond of elevators.  So when Erica sent me an email asking if I wanted to do the CN Tower Edge Walk, I’m not sure who was more surprised that I said yes – her or me.

But I did say yes, which is how I found myself, this past Tuesday, doing this.

Although I’m smiling in the picture, beneath the sunglasses are slightly tear stained cheeks and the puffy eyes of a person who didn’t sleep the night before.  Doing the edge walk was well beyond my comfort zone. Like someone drew a comfort zone line in the sand then catapulted me over the other side. 

We left early the morning of the walk because there was a closure on the highway and traffic was quickly piling up. The drive went faster than I anticipated.  Or wanted.  Thankfully Son No. 2’s full out freak out in his car seat for ½ the ride kept me occupied.  He shares my affinity for not liking elevators so sending him up the CN Tower to watch his mother lean over the edge wasn’t on his top ten things to-do list. 

By the time we got there, the butterflies in my stomach had morphed into a full blown “What The Hell Am I Doing” attack.  I was on the edge all right.  The edge of bursting into tears and running away. 

Before you can do the edge walk, there’s a few things you have to do first… sign a waver and take a breathalyzer test (I passed!).  Then it was time to get into our very cool red jump suits, get harnessed up and have our harnesses checked, re-checked and then re-checked again.  We got into the elevator and made our way up the top.

Once there, our harnesses were attached to the safety rail system above.  And then our harnesses and clips were checked, re-checked, then checked again.  Even knowing how incredibly safe (it really is!) this was, every instinct I had was screaming at me not to do it. 

Now here’s the thing….I was second in line.  There was a person in front of me and a person behind me – all attached to same rail system.  Are you getting where I’m going with this?  I couldn’t escape. Locked and loaded there was no chickening out, even though I was actually starting to cry a little.  We made our way out onto the platform.

This.  This right here, is the face of fear.  Note the death grip on my cable.

But I did it.  Even though I had lost sleep and was on the edge of completely breaking down.  Even though my legs were literally shaking with fear.  I did it.

Why?  Because facing your fears and being able to overcome them gives you a feeling that is indescribable. Walking along the CN Tower edge was an adrenaline high that lasted the entire time I was up there. Knowing that I was afraid and pushed through it is a feeling that will last a lifetime.

The support I received from my friends, both online and off, while getting ready to do the Edge Walk and the cheers I received when I finished went a long way in making a great experience even better.  So now I want to give back to you. 

It was Twentieth Century Fox who challenged me to brave CN Tower Edgewalk and overcome my fear just like the bird Blu from the newly released DVD RIO. And not only did they give me this experience I’ll never forget, they’ve given me four prize packs valued at $50 to give away to you.  Each prize pack contains: 

• Triple Play copy (DVD/BD/DC) of RIO
• Blu plush bird
• Pack of googly-eye Rio character stickers
• Rio tee-shirt
• Rio baseball cap
• Rio matching game cards
• Rio flying disc
• Rio wire bound, hard cover notebook

My kids both loved the movie.  I love that the story is about overcoming a fear.

To enter:  Leave a comment below telling me what you’re afraid of and (a) how you overcame it or (b) if you think you’ll ever overcome it.

Yummy Rules and Regs: You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until August 12, 2011. Contest open to Candian residents only.