Be Strong and Know Thyself!

Saturday, October 25, 2008
I was recently catching up with an old friend on Facebook (which is highly addictive, by the way), and he said to me, "Last time I talked to you, I think writing was more of a hobby." And I racked my brain trying to remember when I ever thought of writing as a hobby--when I was 8? I didn't even know what a "hobby" was. At 16? No, too involved in my other hobbies--drama and basketball. When he "talked" (which in this age means emailed/instant messaged and so on) to me last, I was in the middle of writing my mid-grade historical fiction novel, sending in articles for publication, and entering short story contests--that's a hobby???

I don't blame him for being out of tune with me--I blame myself. This post goes a long with what LuAnn wrote on October 10 with her post "Get a Real Job? I HAVE a Real Job." Maybe it's us--us writers--that send off this we-are-unsure-of-what-we-are-doing vibe. Or we are "scared" to call ourselves WRITERS. Or we love to write and write a lot but we're not--A WRITER.

I call now for us to STOP this nonsense. If you are reading blogs about writing, then you have the passion, the bug, the call, the desire, or whatever, and you are a writer--well if you pick up your pencil or type on your keyboard, too. You are a writer. Say that to yourself 1,000 times in the mirror. Say it to your mom, your husband, your kids, your dog, shout it from the rooftop--I AM A WRITER.

You don't have to be paid to be a writer. You don't have to work full-time at writing to be a writer. You don't have to even be published to be a writer--no matter what anyone else thinks. You just have to write and love it and watch the words pour out of your veins.

Know thyself--know you are a writer, and the next time someone asks you, "What do you do?" or "Oh, so you are still writing?" or something like that, answer them with confidence. . ."Yes, I am a writer, " and tell them about your latest project.

Happy Writing!
Margo Dill
Read These Books and Use Them! blog


Melody Platz said...

I'm glad you said this. I wrote something similar on my blog recently. I spent a lot of years unhappily pretending I wasn't a writer. That's why I try to help beginning writers feel good about themselves. There's no point to feeling insecure and ashamed. Just get out there, do the writing, and tell everyone how much you love it. You'll be much more productive when you're positive.

Melody Platz

Angela Mackintosh said...

I AM A WRITER! Hear me roar! =o)

It's so true, Margo. It's weird, I definitely get more respect when I say, "I own a writer's website," as opposed to "I'm a writer." Why? I truly don't know. Maybe it's because everybody "writes"--whether it's an email or a grocery list--but people don't understand exactly what it means to BE a writer. It takes just as much practice and dedication as being a pianist, ballerina, actor, or any other creative profession.

Now that I think about it, when I was a full-time painter and owned my own art gallery, I got the same response when I said, "I'm an artist." I have this feeling that people think those words, "artist" and "writer," are somehow inferior, or associated with having no money, or worthless pursuits. Maybe because those professions are so hard to be extremely successful at that people can't wrap their mind around it and shrug it off as a hobby. That sucks! I'm not slaving over a hot keyboard to have people think that I'm pursuing a hobby, or am too lazy to get a "real" job.

I think it's time we change people's way of thinking. The next time someone I meet someone who asks what I do I'm going to say, "I'm a writer, and it's not a hobby.' LOL.

Unknown said...

Great post, Margo. I needed that one. Thank you!

Tricia Sanders said...

Yeah Margo. I haven't worked in the corporate world for almost five years and when people ask me what I do, I smile and say, "I'm a writer." It's taken me a long time to get to that point, because I've been writing for a LOOOOOONG time, I just now 'fessed up to it.

Plus I think corporate trainer, curriculum developer, mom, wife, material planner, supervisor all seemed to take precedence.

I AM A WRITER- dammit!

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