Last week I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference with over 600 published and unpublished writers. There were classes about writing, publishing and marketing. We laughed, cried, talked and talked some more into the wee hours of the mornings, about our writing.
But, in the regular course of my day, when someone asks me who I am and what I do, I sometimes hesitate, and then tell them that I work at a public library (my part-time day job). Afterwards, if my husband is with me, he will ask me: “Why don’t you tell people you are a writer?”
So, I thought about that question and these are my conclusions:
1. It is too difficult to explain and I get funny looks. When I first started freelance writing, I was working at home. When people asked me what I did and I told them, of course they asked: “What do you write?” When I tried to explain that I wrote daily devotionals and articles for Sunday school take-home papers they would say: “What are those?” I tried to explain and then they said: “Do you make a living at that?” Of course, I had to answer: “Well, no,” and then they smiled and I believed they were thinking: “She’s not a real writer.”
2. I doubt my writing skills. Even though I have a degree in Journalism, been an editor for a weekly newspaper and have published articles, I do doubt my skills. I think because grammar is not my strong suite, I have always felt inadequate.
3. It sounds presumptuous. Me, a writer? I’m not a bestselling author nor do I have articles in major magazines.
4. I’m afraid I will fail. If I say I am a writer, I fear I will hear: “Hey I have this writing project.” I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it.
Well, I have said it. These are some of the reasons I won’t say who I am or say it so quietly no one can hear. Most of my fears deal with how other people perceive me, which I just simply need to get over! If I feel a lack of skills, those can be learned, and people don’t become bestselling authors overnight.
How about you? Do you find it hard to admit that you are a writer?