Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Am A Writer. Aren't I?

Anyone ever ask you what you do for a living? Have you ever had trouble answering?

Being a writer takes a lot of confidence. Telling people you are a writer takes even more.

But the question is WHY? Why is it so hard to say, "I am a writer."

There is nothing glamorous about the day-to-day task of writing. It can be difficult, often is demanding and frequently intimidating. What job isn't? I think we stumble because we are self-employed and virtually going at it alone.

I finally prepared an answer for times when people ask me my occupation.

"I am a writer," I say to the dental hygienist.

"What do you write?" he asks (they always ask that next).

"I write magazine articles about parenting and my life as a military spouse. I currently write for KC Parent, Military Spouse Magazine and any other publication that will buy an article from me," I say, laughing a little about that last part (though it's true).

I feel better knowing what to say when someone asks me these questions. What about you? Do you stumble over the fact that you are a writer? How do you answer when someone asks your occupation?


  1. You are so right, Julie. The confidence trick must be having a one- or two-sentence answer to the question "What do you write?" I'm definitely going to work on that! Thanks for the post.

  2. I guess my problem is whether I can honestly say I'm a writer since I haven't had anything published. Sure, I write. A lot. But I've only submitted one thing in my life, so I'm not sure I'm a writer until others say I am. Is that crazy?

  3. I am also asked about what I do as a technical writer, and I have learned to break it down for people in simple terms just like I break down tasks in the manuals I write. I have only started freelancing, after years of writing long blog posts, it has recently occurred to me to try to make money off my passion. Duh!

    I am confident in my writing abilities and the proof is in the responses I get. We think our personal experiences come about to teach us, but when we share them, it helps others and they no longer feel alone in their struggles.

  4. I used to. I would almost answer sheepishly, because I was unpublished. Even once I published a couple pieces I hesitated before saying "I'm a writer." But then something clicked. I realized that I was a writer, a passionate one, for life. There's no going back. This is what I want to be, forever. And I want to become a better writer for every day that passes by. So now I say "I'm a writer" and feel more confident in myself!