I have been writing for years; for as long as I can remember. I wrote plays in middle school; short stories in high school; focused on creative writing in college. I have done freelance; written three full-length novels and a novella.
So, why can’t I call myself a ‘Writer’?
Sometimes I do. Sometimes I list ‘Writer’ as my occupation on my children’s school forms; but then I always look over my shoulder for someone to come and call me out as a fraud. Or when I make a new friend, I’ll whisper, almost under my breath, “I’m a writer,” and hope they don’t ask me too many questions.
The other day I met the mother of my son’s friend. She was a friendly, outgoing, pleasant lady. There was no reason I should’ve been self-conscious. But when she asked, “What do you do?”, I choked. I didn’t know what to say. So, I responded, much to my chagrin later on, “I’m an editor.”
I only edit my own manuscripts. Sometimes I edit friends’ works-in-progress. But I’m not an editor. I’m a writer. To my defense, though it’s weak, I was knee-deep in the throws of editing Wren’s Fantasy.
This exchange really made me realize I am not yet confident enough to call myself a ‘Writer’, with a capitol ‘W’. I don’t own that title, despite the deep desire to identify myself as such.
I thought once my full-length novel, Wren’s Fantasy, was contracted and published, I’d be able to state, with confidence, that ‘I’m a Writer.’ But, alas, that was not to be. And I even lied about what I do.
What’s wrong here?
I guess I’d need years of therapy to find that elusive answer. But I’m suspicious that, on the brink of becoming what I’ve always dreamed of being – a Writer – I’m terrified of being called out as a fraud, maybe even afraid of success, maybe terrified that if someone knows I’m a writer, they will want to read my work. And, here’s the kicker, they may think it sucks.
But I am not a fraud. I do write. All the time. I have two published pieces of fiction and am editing another full-length novel.
So here and now, please let me state, with pride, conviction and breath-held, “I am a Writer.”
Cheers to all you other Writers out there! 🙂 Tracy