Thursday, June 12, 2014

Am I a Writer?

I used to prefer a pen, but now I find I am most efficient when I use a keyboard.

Thinking of myself as a writer has been a gradual process, and I still struggle to label myself this way.

It was easy to say "I am a nurse."  I have a degree, and a license, and pay stubs to prove that. Calling myself a writer though, or even a blogger feels a little counterfeit.  I have a blog, and I have published articles on it and elsewhere. I have even made a little money writing - but not enough yet to pay the bills! Until I can figure out how to more accurately measure my stats, I'm not really even sure of my audience!  So yes, I am a writer - but one not very sure of her worth or her readership.

Our roles are often associated with income. Without much monetary compensation, I cannot really consider writing my occupation - despite the amount of time I devote to it.  It certainly would be easier to justify the hours I spend writing and blogging if it became more lucrative.  If that happened, I would be truly content. But, I am not paid to be a parent and I am (without question) a mother. Should it be so hard then, for me to believe in myself as a writer?

I recently read, “Some Questions on Creative Self Confidence” published by Laurel Regan on Alphabet salad. The first paragraph expresses my thoughts perfectly. I had already been planning to write on this topic, but was unaware that anyone else felt the same!  I have wrestled with this question of confidence a lot, and Ms. Regan's article and all the comments written by readers provided a lot of insight on this topic.

I love to write, and I am incredibly fond of my blog.  It is hard to verbalize confidently to others, but in my heart, I know I am a writer.  A writer trying to prove to myself and the world that I can write!

Do you lack of confidence about something you like to do?

This post was linked to the Monday Motivational Link Party

20 comments :

  1. Interesting thoughts! I read Regan's post, too and I can see why this is a struggle. We do seem to need to make money at something in order to feel legitimate. I only do this with myself though. If other people tell me they do things, paint, quilt, write, or play an instrument I have no qualms about calling them an artist, quilter, writer, or musician, no matter what level of proficiency they've achieved. I certainly never ask them if they've made any money as a way to gage whether they "deserve" the title. We're always so much harder on ourselves!

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    1. Thanks for sharing this perspective - and you are right, I only question myself - not others - in this way as well!

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  2. I am so glad to discover that I'm not the only one who struggles with artistic labels! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and linking to my post - I love the discussions that have come from this.

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    1. Thanks for writing it Laurel. It was interesting to realize that I am not the only one who has been pondering this!

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  3. Susan - you are definitely a writer, and a very good one. Your writing inspires me every day! I know what you mean though - writing is a bit of an intangible, especially when you aren't being paid for it, so it's hard to gauge its worth.

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    1. Your support means so much Lana! These compliments are worth their weight in gold :)

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  4. I'm just now beginning to feel good about saying I'm a writer…but it took forty years to get here…..

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    1. I hope it doesn't take me 40 years. I got too late of a start for that as it would really test the longevity of my family genes!

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  5. "What's in a name?" came to mind just now. Was it a song? A poem? or just a saying? I can't remember....

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    1. Shakespeare ... Romeo and Juliet ... such a fitting quote in this context of wondering about being a writer I think! And my answer to Juliet's question would be yes - a rose would smell as sweet by any other name. So, perhaps it doesn't matter what we call ourselves, as long as we write! Thanks for this insight!

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  6. I think for me, it's as if I'm working up to becoming a writer. I've never had the feeling that I'm a writer. It's like I'm a blogger now working up to being writer. I still need to learn so much.

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    1. I think that you are a blogger who is a writer Rena! I enjoy your posts!!

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  7. I have felt this way too. Now I do say I am an author or a writer but it still feels strange because I have two other jobs that pay the bills.

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    1. Maybe we need to remember the stereotype of starving artists -- some of the great masters didn't make any money in their lifetimes. (It would be nice if we didn't have to wait that long though!) For me, right now, I feel like having readers is invaluable - and the knowledge that someone likes what I write is paycheck enough!

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  8. I think it's because others around us are incredibly judgmental. Heck, I make a living writing and still have a hard time because it's not a "typical" job. You ARE a writer, simply because you sat down to write. You enjoy it. Embrace it. And now, if you don't mind, I'm off to listen to my own advice ;)

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    1. Maybe people are judgmental because they are envious. I can't think of a better job than writing - being paid to do this would truly be the icing on the cake!!

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  9. Hi Susan,
    I am a new follower. I think you are a writer. I have read several of your articles and I enjoyed them all...and that's saying a lot...because I don't like to read. Oh yeah, we have several things in common. I am a nurse...not as educated. I don't feel that I can write at all...but love to write. Hopefully, this will all pay off. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Trish
      Thanks so much for stopping by and your nice comments! From what I see on your blog, you express your thoughts well - so you are indeed a writer! I am following you as well. Have a great day!

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  10. This is so funny I had just had this conversation on our FB group when Huffington Post wanted me to write my bio. Could I call myself a writer I asked or was I a blogger. The resounding answer was that we are writers and our blogs are our vehicles. Another I anwer I got was a writer is a story teller so you are a writer on both fronts.

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  11. If you have some doubts on whether you wish or not to become a writer, you can feel free to examine this link

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!