When I was in High School, I was on the school newspaper staff, where I wrote everything from news to features to editorials. A couple of my stories and editorials were either reprinted or quoted in the New York Times during the integration crisis at Central High.
In college, I was on the newspaper staff. In those days, the paper was operated independent of the University. It was run like a business and we were paid employees. Finally, the University decided to take over the paper and I resigned in protest, along with the rest of the staff. After that, I got a job writing, among other duties, for the Alumni magazine. That, too was a paid job.
In my Journalism classes, I wrote a couple of feature stories which were printed by the Arkansas Gazette. I was paid for these stories at their going rate.
My point is, I think I can safely call myself a writer, even though I haven't written much since I came to Harrison, apart from news stories in the local paper, for various clubs. I always seemed to be elected "Reporter".
When I went to work, I designed, wrote and edited the company newsletter. There was a printshop there, which helped make the newsletter look professional. Another employee acted as photographer, and eventually, we welcomed other employees as volunteer "reporters". I spearheaded this for almost 15 years and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
On my retirement, my son introduced me to blogging, and I re-discovered my love for writing and acquired decided fondness for expressing my opinions. I also discovered the satisfaction that comes from knowing that others are reading and, (dare I say it?), even even enjoying what I have to say.
So, when my friend tells me that blogging is not REALLY writing, it hurts my feelings. She says this often, and adds that I don't have the "credentials" to consider myself a writer, because I don't get paid for it or have a Journalism degree.
I never argue with her strange notion, because she doesn't own a computer and would never be convinced otherwise. She said it again yesterday, along with the usual scoffing about people I communicate with through comments they make on my blog, and comments I make on theirs. She'd like you to know that you aren't "real" people.
I could tell her that the people I have met through blogging are more "real" than most of the people with whom I am acquainted here in my town. I can tell her that she just doesn't know what she's missing.
There! I feel better, now. Thanks for letting me vent.