Friday, April 20, 2012

Are You Afraid to Say You Are a Writer?

Being that I am a few weeks away from celebrating the one year anniversary of my blog, here is a repost.

            When I attend a writer’s conference, I spend time with published and unpublished writers. There are classes, I can't get enough of, about writing, publishing and marketing our work. We laugh, cry and stay up late as we talk about our writing. I become an extrovert for a few short days.
            But, in the course of a normal day when I am going about my tasks and someone asks me what I do, (they mean for a living) 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 usually ask me: “Why don’t you also tell people you are a writer?”
            So, I thought about that question and these are my conclusions:
1.     It is too difficult to explain. When I started doing some freelance writing, after the publishing company I worked for relocated out of state, I would respond to others that I was a freelance writer and of course they asked: “What do you write?” When I tried to explain that I wrote daily devotionals and articles for Sunday school take-homes 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 or I don’t 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.

            These are some of the reasons I won’t say who I am or say it so quietly no can hear. Most of my hesitancies deal with other’s perceptions of me, which I just simply, need to get over! If I lack skills, those can be learned, and people don’t become bestselling authors overnight.

            How about you? Do you find it hard to admit, at times, that you are a writer and why?

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