“So, what do you do?”
“Oh, me? I’m a writer.”
[Cue Awkward Silence]
Has this ever happened to you?
Writing is a wonderful field to be involved in and being a writer is no easy task. Unfortunately, positive responses are not common if you say that you’re a writer.
Doubt, skepticism and judgement, on the other hand, can be extremely common.
These awkward exchanges can be brutal for writers and may lead to thoughts such as:
Do they believe you? Do they not?
What truly makes you a writer?
Are you only a writer if you’re published? What if you just blog? Does that count?
Well, yes, it does.
If you enjoy it and make the time to write, you are a writer 100 percent! However, getting others to understand this is another story.
But, have no fear, Kate M. Colby, a writer of multi-genre fiction and creative nonfiction has some tips to help you be taken seriously. Here’s an excerpt:
Write (and write regularly)
This may seem obvious, but you would not believe how many people I knew in college (myself included), who did more talking about writing than actual writing. That doesn’t work. You have to write to be a writer. Period. I know how to dive, and I enjoy doing so when the mood strikes and I happen to be at the pool. But I don’t go diving regularly. And I would never call myself a diver.
Once writing, call yourself a writer
Often, “aspiring” writers feel like imposters for calling themselves writers. Don’t. If you write regularly, enjoy writing, and intend to make writing a part of your professional or personal life, you are a writer. The sooner you embrace and use the label, the sooner your friends and family will, too.
Treat writing like a job
So, have you experienced some not-so-positive responses to being a writer? Share with us in the comments and let us know what steps you’re doing to make it your “official” title. And if you like what you read and want to see more, subscribe to our email list for more thoughts, quotes and writing prompts or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.