Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Makes A Writer?

I just saw the movie Julie & Julia. It was fun. But of course I couldn't help paying special attention to the movie's subtext about how a writer is made and defined. The beginning of the movie shows the main character, Julie, at loose ends, with lots of promise and talent, but directionless. Through discussions with her friends and husband, she decides she needs a project to which she can commit herself. She starts a blog in which she charts her daily progress through Julia Child's cookbook, and updates it for a year. Her blog becomes so successful that she ends up with a book and a movie.

As the credits roll up the screen in the dark theater, the audience is informed as to the dates of death for Julia Child and her beloved husband, as well as current information about Julie Powell. The final line reads, "She is a writer."

I congratulate Julie Powell on her tenacity and success. But I take issue with the movie's message that a writer is defined by her publications. Julie became a writer when she began her blog, before she had hundreds of fans leaving comments. She became a writer when she started writing.


  1. Is someone with hypergraphia necessarily a writer? Just wondering...

  2. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I hope to soon. I really like your comment about what makes a writer, because I find it so hard to claim that title for myself...

    But speaking of, glad to see you doing so much - workshops, publications, the blog, twittering. Not that any of that makes you MORE of a writer, but I'm happy to see you sharing your writing in so many forms. and very happy to read it all. xox

  3. I think there is a huge difference between a "writer", and someone "who writes"