Many writers might feel like they’re undergoing some type of identity crisis these days. Where do they want their work to go? Between print versus web, blogging versus reporting, Twitter versus longform, there’s many choices and different textures to each.
Cord Jefferson, one of my favorite writers, was on the Longform Podcast this week. His answer here reduces these modern-day complexities to something really wonderful and worth remembering.
“How do you define yourself in this world? Are you a journalist? Are you a writer? Are you, like, a memoirist? Are you an entertainer?”
“When people ask me what I do, I just tend to say that I’m a writer. And that’s what I set out to do. I put ‘writer’ on my taxes. There’s a lot of joy in that for me. There’s a lot of joy in kind of — I just sit down and stare at a blank page and write stuff.
The fact that I haven’t been forced to pick one path or choose one genre of writing thus far in my career is something I’m actually pretty happy about. In a way, I might be a little disappointed if I was latched to one genre or style of writing.”