Rene had an interesting post about her secret identity—being a writer—the other day. She came up with some good reasons why writers might avoid telling people about their writing. At the same time, she understands why people might not take her writing seriously, “because they have no idea how important it is to me.” She says, “I can't expect people to appreciate my being a writer until I appreciate it myself.”
I suppose I’m lucky in that I write for a living, so I have no issue with calling myself a writer. However, I do hold back about my fiction writing except to those closest to me. I remember how I hated telling people I was a waitress back in the days. I’d tell them I was in “public service.” So, when the opportunity came up to call myself anything but, I took it. Now I’m working on the novelist part.
Chrys, in her post ‘Own It,’ talks about how calling herself a writer was a freeing experience. She says, “You ARE a writer. Don't dismiss it. Don't shove it under the rug. Own it. Because it's who you are. No matter if you publish or not. No matter if no one but you ever reads your work. You. Are. A. Writer. OWN IT!” (God luv ya Chrys)
I should add that I have no problem calling myself a linker so, true to form, I’ve come up with some links to help us declare our truth!
Mark Pettus, of The Bluff, had a good post, Strike three. Are you out?, last year.
Judy Reeves says, “Until your call yourself a writer, you will never be a writer who writes—and keeps writing!” In the article, an excerpt from her book, Writing Alone, Writing Together, she says,
How do you claim yourself as writer? First, say it. “I'm a writer.” Say it out
loud. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it to your friends and family. Say
it to the next person you meet at a party who asks, “What do you do?” Say it to
a stranger in line at the grocery store. Say it to your mother. Mostly, say it
to yourself: “I'm a writer.”
What Makes You Think You Can Write? by Debra Koontz Traverso discusses the top ten doubts writers have.
Becoming a Writer Is Not a Choice by Beth Mende Conny talks about why we must write. (By the way, this site has more awesome articles.)
Liz Strauss, in her blog post, Are You a Writer? 7 Traits that Writers Have in Common, has a list you can check yourself against. A couple items from the list:
- Writers often start out feeling like an imposter. The message we’re told is that the writing is strong and compelling, or well on its way, but we think the messenger could be mistaken.
- Every writer is in a self-actualizing process. Writing is an apprenticeship. A writer is always becoming a writer.
- Nothing in life can prepare you to be a writer, except everything in your life.
What advice would you give to writers who don’t ‘own it’ yet?