I picked up my business cards today. And there it was in black and white (or #0E0E0E and #ffffff) for all to see.
Writer / Editor / Author of Freelance Your Heart Out
As I handed over my $157, I felt proud. I’ve struggled calling myself a writer. It brings up a lot for me about being ‘good enough’ and all those ‘stepping out’ and ‘being seen’ feelings. I’ve always felt I needed to justify myself around being published or qualify what type of writer I was for people to get it.
I’d get all sorts of intrigue if I called myself a writer, starting with, ‘Ooh, what have you written?’
She wants you to be a famous-ish author living next door or romanticises about your writer’s bolthole and creative country escapes.
‘Oh I’m just a staff writer for an events company.’
‘I’m more of a reporter really, like a report writer.’
‘It’s corporate writing though.’
‘I do mainly editing, some writing, summaries, reports, that kind of thing, yeah…’
‘I’m an in-house writer.’
‘I’m a freelance writer and editor.’
These are just some of the variations I’ve used to describe what I do while trying to stay hidden. Anything to deflect, minimise, distract or move the conversation on from the writer-ness.
But why? Why have I done that?
I am a writer, aren’t I?
I wonder if other professions are the same.
Maybe it’s a creative thing. I’ve never heard a teacher have a confidence crisis when she’s describing whether she can teach a class, or a plumber umming and ahhing over what kind of plumber he is.
Maybe it’s an entrepreneur thing. For the first time, you have to define yourself and stick to your guns. Although I even had trouble calling myself a writer when my job title was simply ‘writer’.
So maybe it’s just a me thing… Who knows.
Whatever it is, though, it makes a difference when you do it. You won’t write any more or less. But you will feel more writer-y.
Calling yourself a writer is only half the battle. Saying it bold and standing firm on it, almost daring someone to challenge it, that’s damn empowering.
Do it. Do it with conviction. Do it today.
Say it out loud
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Put ‘writer’ in the tagline of your blog.
Add ‘writer’ to your email signature.
Say ‘writer’ next time someone asks what you do.
Affirm ‘I am a writer’ in the mirror.
Add ‘writer’ to your social media profile descriptions.
Get ‘writer’ on those business cards!
But most of all…
Be a writer.
You’ve got to be prolific to start to feel it. You don’t have to make money from it, but you gotta write. The more you write, the more you’ll believe. And the more you believe, the more you’ll write. And then you’re a writer.
Whether they like it or not.
Tell me you’re a writer. Say it loud, say it proud in the comments below. I dare you!