Calling Yourself a Writer.

IWSG Calling Yourself a Writer

A few short months ago, I put in for some casual work at my old employer, only to be knocked back. Upon seeing some of the people I used to work with, one of them asked what I was going to do now. Instead of simply telling them I was going to write, I kept quiet.

On this blog and on other forms of social media, I call myself a writer, yet I find it difficult to tell anyone outside of that. Social media is safer; you can ‘hide’ behind your keyboard and nobody really knows you anyway. When you’re taking that big step from being a hobbyist to professional it can be very daunting. Self-doubt begins to creep in; calling yourself a writer with nothing or very little to show for it makes you feel a fake, a phoney, a fraud. Telling others you’re a writer in the pre-published stages can either result in a lack of interest once they realise you haven’t published a book or lack of interest because they feel you’re wasting your time.

The good news is that by telling people you’re a writer during the early stages not only holds you accountable, it also means that you’re committed to give it your best. I’m gradually coming to the realisation that it really doesn’t matter what other people think. For a long time I’ve gone along with what is considered ‘acceptable’ in our society when it comes to employment. Not everyone has dreams, but for those of us who do, we are entitled to at least try. Fear can hold many people back and we admire those who succeed in reaching their dreams. If you write, then yes, you are a writer. Calling yourself a writer begins with you – name it and claim it.

Do you have trouble telling others you’re a writer? Do you find it easier to be yourself behind the keyboard? Are you a hobby writer aiming at being professional? What have you done or are currently doing to reach your dreams?

 Image via Wikimedia Commons.

12 thoughts on “Calling Yourself a Writer.

  1. I hope you don’t feel alone in this. We, I think, have all felt this way especially in the beginning, or if we’ve been doing it for years and have yet to meet the pinnacle. Thanks for expressing yourself so well. I’m here because you signed up for the IWSG. This is a perfect post for it! Could you please put in a link to the IWSG and the badge? That would be a great help and let everyone know you are a regular poster. Thanks so much! #IWSG

    1. Debbie Johansson 07/05/2014 — 9:48 pm

      Hi lisabuiecollard – it’s good to meet you. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels like this. It’s just a shame that for people who have been doing it a lot longer than I have still manage to feel this way! So there’s more of this to look forward to? 😉 Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by – it’s much appreciated.

  2. I never told anyone! Well outside of the sybersphere! Not until I got published. The problem after? people were astonished they had no idea I wrote. I know though, had I said I was a writer, the response would be that I was waisting my time. Once I got published everyone wants to be your friend – oh and they think you are rich. Oh well. I’m right there with you on hiding. Writing is my dream and the fear of someone stomping on it kept me quiet.

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/05/2014 — 1:06 am

      Hi Michelle. I understand your feelings. When I had a couple of small pieces published, members of my own family were surprised. Prior to that, me wanting to be a writer was considered laughable. This is why I sit on the fence when it comes to ‘coming out’ as a writer. I find it easier on social networks as I’m more likely to meet other writers there than in the ‘real’ world at the moment. When someone puts your dreams down, it can be really difficult to find pleasure in it again. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  3. Fear sucks and admitting to writing can be difficult because not everyone understands. For me I didn’t have to say a word, I spent my coffee breaks and lunch writing in a notebook. They knew I was a writer, but never asked me of what.

    If they did, I’m not sure I’d have told them. 🙂

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/05/2014 — 1:24 am

      Hi emaginette. You’re lucky that people could see that you were writing, but never actually had to ask. Whenever someone used to ask what I was writing, I would feel like a guilty child. These days my husband leaves me alone when I write and has a go at me whenever I’m not writing, so it’s good to know that I have at least one person in my corner! Thanks for stopping by – it’s good to meet you.

  4. I read an article about this the other day. It stated pretty much what you summed up in this post.

    Tell people your a writer, if that’s what you associate with. The more you say it, the more comfortable it feels.

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/05/2014 — 1:31 am

      Hi Carrie-Anne – it’s good to meet you. I agree – the more you call yourself a writer, the more comfortable it feels. It would certainly help with the self-confidence! Like everything else, I guess it all starts with baby steps. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate it.

  5. Most everyone knows I’m a writer. My co-workers know. My neighbors see me outside with my laptop! LOL! Whether in my ‘real’ life or online, I’m myself. 😉

    1. Debbie Johansson 09/05/2014 — 2:08 am

      Hi Christy! How are you? You’re lucky that people know you are a writer and you don’t have to feel ‘ashamed’ by it. As you can probably tell, I’m sadly lacking in the self confidence department, but with my husband’s continued support and by persevering with my writing, I just might get there. I hope your writing is going well! Take care. 🙂

  6. You will, Debbie! Just trust yourself, believe in yourself, and follow your instincts! 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 09/05/2014 — 11:16 am

      Thanks Christy! I appreciate that. 🙂

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