Writers Workshop: The Established Writer

Cliché (album)

I don’t like cliches very much. Do you? Does anyone, other than profit-motivated, ad-related sites and stopovers? Well, I suppose infomercials need them to stay alive.

Among my least favorite cliche-phrases is “established writer.” What in the world of phrasing swamp gas does this mean? The definition of “writer” is easy enough, especially for a writer. But, “established?” What’s that all about?

Established by whom, by what? Who does the “establishing” in the first place? Is there a Writer’s Establishment God out there somewhere? A bureau of Establishing Writers that functions like some secret society? Holy bells and whistles, have I missed something for all these decades? 

I think not.

From my point of view, there is no such thing as an “established writer.” If “established” means “published” then it completely misses the mark. Being published is fun, exciting, potentially profitable and completely overrated. So, if the formula boils down to “established = published,” the inventor must have flunked some basic math classes. I think a more applicable word might be “oxymoron.” Or did I just make-up that cliche?

If you are a writer, I mean a person who writes and loves doing it, you are already established. You may have not yet been “discovered,” but that’s an entirely different issue that involves such meandering currents as good fortune and good timing, or just good luck. See The Undiscovered Writer for more.

So, the next time you read or hear the phrase, “established writer,” file it away with all those other useless cliches that already clutter our lives. It may be no more than a nice way of patting oneself on one’s back(side). Whatever the reason for its use, the thrill is short-lived and hollow. In other words, it’s meaningless.

You are already an “established writer,” so just go about the more important task of becoming better at your craft.

So, do you feel like an established writer? No? Why not!


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