Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

“Writer who doesn’t write” is a popular Instagram bio among people in the literary world. It’s a phrase that pokes fun at the lack of actual writing someone does to be able to call themselves a writer, but what lies beneath this seemingly innocent phrase? 

I, for one, think it is a lot meaner than we intend it to be. Even though I am guilty of saying it, I don’t think we are being fair to ourselves. It’s like by saying it I am somehow absolving myself from the guilt I have for not writing, but it might be doing the complete opposite. It’s as if we’re saying, “Yeah I’m a writer, but not really.” We give ourselves the title but immediately rip it off like a bandaid – it leaves a part of you stinging. 

The stinging being the guilt we feel for not dedicating time to write. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m disappointed in myself for not having written more articles for Her Campus this semester, but I like to think I showed up as a writer in different ways. I like to think most writers show up in different ways.

Every week, while I didn’t get the time to write an article myself, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time reading articles written by our amazing group of writers on our editorial team. I’d offer my skills as a writer through editing their articles (even though most of the time they didn’t need it cause they’re so stinkin’ great). I’d offer a fresh set of eyes on something they might be tired of looking at, and share some ideas I think they could offer their perspective on. I could offer them something, maybe not my own writing, but something that could make them better. With this beautiful community I was able to join, what more could I ask for? 

So, yeah, I am a writer who didn’t have the chance to write as much as she wanted because she was too busy trying to balance school, work, and all the fun things life threw at her this semester. I used to carry that with such shame, but I now wear that with a badge of honor because I can say that I showed up. It wasn’t perfect, but I think I need to stop thinking it has to be. 

As I am trying to reframe my thinking and be nicer to myself, I keep thinking back to something a professor of mine once asked our class. She asked, “What would we do if we didn’t have to worry about money?” A lot of my classmates said they would pursue their more creative ambitions rather than a secure job we are taught to want. I wish I could spend all my time writing and creating art instead of the ideas being stuck in my head and never really becoming a reality. Sadly, I have to spend more time trying to survive rather than chasing my ambitions, but I can also choose to dedicate the little time I have jotting down ideas in my notes app or on a scrap piece of paper. 

As my time with Her Campus comes to a close, instead of focusing on what I didn’t do, I’ll remind myself that I am a writer, who was able to act as Senior Editor alongside our ever so talented Editor-in-Chief. I am a writer who was able to guide my writers to their fullest potential. I am a writer who spends more time reading than writing but I think that will only benefit me in the long run when I actually sit down to write the novel I’ve always wanted to.

I am a writer who doesn’t write. 

Natalie Pineda is an English and Creative Writing student. She loves reading and writing is her passion. She enjoys stories written by women for women. Romcoms are her genre of choice and appreciates the art of indie movies.