IWSG: Do You See Yourself as a Working Writer?

I have been writing for years, and it wasn’t until late 2019 that I became an indie author. Despite this, I did not really see myself as a working writer until only a few short months ago.

I could never understand those television shows where authors go about solving crimes, yet somehow manage to write books and be successful authors. To me, the term ‘working writer’ is someone glued to their chair doing a lot of writing with an assortment of pens and papers scattered around their desk. What I like to call ‘an organised mess’.

To me, a working writer is also someone who takes their writing seriously, are prepared to be in it for the long haul, learn new things (as well as from their mistakes), and adapt to change. Sometimes we can be doing all these things, but what is really required is a shift in our mindset.

When I released my two books of short stories in 2019, I put them out into the world with little fanfare. These were stories I had been holding onto for a number of years, so when I pressed ‘publish’, it was with a great deal of relief (and a lot of trepidation) that the job was finally done.

Recently, as I have been working on the release of my next book, my mindset has changed. Within the first six months as an indie author, I managed to learn more about the business – don’t we learn more by doing? I have learned from past mistakes and this time I am trying a different approach, and I’m sure I will try different ways of doing things with each book.

Looking back, despite having some knowledge of indie publishing, I was a bit naïve. I need to work harder and smarter if I want to be successful in this business, and I do! With that shift in mindset, I now see myself as a working writer.

This is something you will never see on these shows because it makes for boring television! 😉

Do you see yourself as a working writer? What do you think it looks like? Have you had a change in mindset and how has it worked for you? Are you an aspiring author or a hobbyist?

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Main image courtesy Unsplash

10 thoughts on “IWSG: Do You See Yourself as a Working Writer?

  1. Good post! I have had a shift in mindset, but mine is a little different. I didn’t realize when I started how HARD it is to write well. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. And I’m still learning!

    1. Debbie Johansson 07/10/2020 — 6:20 am

      Thank you, Priscilla. To write well is hard, I agree, and it is so easy to feel discouraged. I’m currently working on edits and have been for a few months now, which can make it difficult to keep motivated. There’s always something new to learn in this profession! 😉

  2. Agree with your definition! Being a writer is 10% writing, 90% editing and work, work, work! 😀

    1. Debbie Johansson 07/10/2020 — 9:09 am

      Absolutely! I’ve been at the editing stage for a couple of months now, which is a slow process and lots of work. I’m looking forward to writing something new! 😉

  3. melissamaygrove 07/10/2020 — 4:27 pm

    I want to see myself as a working writer, but I work too many hours at my ‘real’ job.

    1. Debbie Johansson 07/10/2020 — 11:04 pm

      Hi Melissa. I hope you manage to get some writing done when you’re not in your ‘real’ job. If you’re still working on your writing, then you’re a ‘working’ writer. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. We’re far apart on this one. Have a great month. 🙂


    1. Debbie Johansson 07/10/2020 — 11:11 pm

      Thanks, Anna. Now that I’m indie published, I feel I really need a shift in mindset (and remember to have fun while I’m at it). Friends can have their disagreements sometimes. 😉 I hope you have a great month too!

  5. Ronel Janse van Vuuren 12/10/2020 — 1:05 pm

    Great post 🙂 As a working writer, making a TV series of my life would be pretty dull — unless I became a zombie or a vigilante!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Revamp Your Backlist

    1. Debbie Johansson 13/10/2020 — 2:20 am

      Thank you, Ronel and thanks for stopping by. Yes, the writing life is pretty uneventful. I can’t see that as a reality show! 😉

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