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Look up “writer” in any dictionary and it will likely define a writer as “anyone who writes”. This study initiates a discussion to refine what it means to be a writer—a real writer—not to judge, but to suggest guidelines, expectations, and well-defined standards by reviewing best practices and industry expectations—because being a writer really is more than just being someone who writes. Interviews were conducted with published fiction authors; and analysis found that there were twenty identifiable attributes for writers that go beyond just writing. These attributes include such things as studying the craft, meeting quotas, accepting rejection, being career-oriented, and being read publicly. These 20 attributes define some expectations and standards which confirm that the simple act of writing does not make one a writer. Graphs based on the 20 qualities create an interactive user-friendly tool for would be writers who are looking to energize their writing journey.

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