Being a writer isn’t like being a dentist or a professional race car driver or a vigilante who protects the streets of Gotham. Those careers are ones where you’ll regularly see the professional in action, but it’s often different with writing. Not every writer actually earns a paycheck for being a writer. Say what? You may not be spending your day working as a successful freelance writer (yet), so does that mean you shouldn’t be calling yourself a writer?
Reasons Why You Should Tell People You’re a Writer
Like most people, it took me a while to call myself a writer and do so with confidence. If you’re ever in doubt about what to tell people when they ask about your passion or profession, here are a few reasons why it’s OK to tell others that you’re a writer.
1. You’ve Put in the Work
You’ve likely done your share of experimenting with different hobbies, activities and dalliances. If writing is something you just can’t shake and find yourself coming back to, unlike that half-finished painting, then you’ve earned the right to call yourself a writer. Even if your writing has never been published, that doesn’t dampen the impact of the work you’ve done or the effort you’ve made.
2. It’s Positive Affirmation
You don’t have to wait until you cross the finish line before you celebrate every victory, and you don’t have to be in first place to celebrate that victory either. The same is true of writing. If you spend 15 years sincerely dedicated to writing your novel, do you have to wait until you get it published to tell your friends that you’re a writer? Certainly not! Don’t wait for validation; it’s often a waste of time to do so.
3. You Consider Writing Your True Passion
You may work full-time as a teacher, line cook, customer service agent or crew member at the local deli, but if you have a burning desire to be a professional writer and find yourself unable to get through the week without thinking about writing or working on your manuscript, then you should be calling yourself a writer. It’s easy to get caught up in job titles, especially when one of the most common questions asked by people we first meet is “what do you do for a living?” One thing we have to remember is that a person isn’t his or her job; a person is his or her passion. What you do for a living isn’t always the same as what you do to feel like you’re living.
4. It Makes You Happy
Even though writing can sometimes feel more like torture and less like pleasure, you’re a writer if that pain, that frustration, that creative block is worth it. If you find yourself coming back to writing through good writing times and bad, then you’re a true writer. It’s learning not only to appreciate that pain, but also to expect it and realize it’s part of the process that separates the genuine writers from the dabblers.
Do you hesitate when it comes to calling yourself a writer? If you have additional reasons for shouting your love of writing from the rooftops, let’s hear what you’ve got in the comment section.