I’m Not a Real Writer

Not According to Some Medium Elitists, Anyway

Robyn Sinead Sheppard
2 min readAug 7, 2022


All too frequently I see stories on Medium telling me that I’m not a “serious writer” — whatever the hell that is — because I don’t write my stories by pen or pencil but insist on using my keyboard.

These stories try to convince me that I can’t consider myself a real writer unless I sweat and agonize over pieces of paper before finally committing the results of my blessed sacrament to the keyboard.

It’s why I don’t get as many views on my stories. I can only do better if I struggle, like Shakespeare and the other bards of old, to get my precious words down on foolscap, preferably with my goose-quill pen.

First, I’ve been using keyboards most of my life. A portable typewriter in college, and now computer, cell phone, and tablets. It’s a hard habit to break.

Second, I have one word for you snobs: arthritis. I cannot hold a pen or pencil long enough to even write my name, much less an entire story. And no, the surgeries I underwent last May and June only helped me hold a pen long enough even for that chore.

Even with the God-given convenience (as an atheist, can I say “God-given?” Gates-given or Jobs-given sounds silly) of a keyboard it’s hard for me to write much beyond 10 minutes at a time.

Besides all that, I also commit the cardinal sin of writing: I edit as I go. My handicaps make it easy to do so, since as I write I have to take frequent breaks, giving me the opportunity to do so. Even so, I still let the finished product sit for a day or two before I go over it once more before I hit the Publish button.

In the end, the proof (as they say) is in the pudding: I defy anyone to see any difference between my method of writing and someone’s who writes first in pen or pencil before transferring their works to the screen. And I mean “proof” in its original sense: a test. It’s also where we get such opposite terms as “proving grounds” and “proofing the yeast.”

The Next Day

I wrote all of the above on Saturday. Now it’s Sunday, and I’ve had a chance to distance myself from what I wrote. Do I feel any differently? Do I want to change anything?

Nope. So now it’s time to hit that big green button and Publish the sucker!



Robyn Sinead Sheppard

A happily retired technical writer, I write in order to understand what I'm thinking. I'm walking wounded from the Sexual Revolution.