If you write, when do you get to call yourself a writer?
This is a bit of a grey area, isn’t it? Do we bloggers qualify as being writers? Do we need to have been published online, or in a magazine/newspaper to qualify as being a writer? To others, they feel they can only call themselves a writer proper, when they have published a story, novel or poem.
Also, do you dare to declare to the world that you are a writer? When you are asked what you do [ because sadly, what we do defines us], do you bravely tell them that you’re a writer?
I confess, I call myself a freelance writer, but I don’t broadcast it to all and sundry. My friends and family know that I write, but others are not aware of it. I can get away with it; because I haven’t written anything they would have heard of. Why would I want to get away with it? Why would I not want to proclaim my writing successes to the world? Because, I’m quite a private sort of person. I’m proud of my writing and I enjoy recognition for the hours spent slogging away on my laptop but, I would prefer to be left to quietly scribble away, in the background, thank you.
Big heads and reluctant limelighters.
Other writers crave the limelight, don’t they? They get a letter published in a magazine and they’re a published writer, which I suppose they are.
In the town where I live we have at least one famous author who loves to bask in the limelight. I’m not going to name him…his head is big enough as it is. If he visits the supermarket he does so with great aplomb. Not for him quietly filling his basket with grub, for the week. He strides around the shop and poses in the aisles, so we can all get a good look at him. He absolutely needs the attention. If no one recognised him, it would be certain death. Me? I completely ignore him. I knew him before he became a famous author and he was a pain in the arse then. He’s an even bigger pain in the arse now. But, he can write and good on him for that.
My local town of Scarborough is also home to a very famous playwright…Alan Ayckbourn. He quietly goes about his writing. One gets the impression that to be recognised is a bit awkward for him. I briefly spoke with him, at the preview night of one of his plays, some years ago and he was very grateful for the attention and praise people were showing him.
I’ve made it sound like my local town is populated by famous authors galore and that I mingle with and know them all. I’m a writer what do you expect?
Do we need to be earning mega bucks to be able to call ourselves writers? Does any writer earn mega bucks? Lets face it, most of us and yours truly is included in this, will most likely never earn masses of money from our writing. But, for me personally, this is not my goal. Yes, I like to earn money…it makes me feel good about myself and my writing, but I won’t class myself as a failure if I don’t generate a massive income. Besides, I think it’s much more romantic to be a poor writer!
To be a writer, or not to be?
If someone asks you what you do, how do you reply? Do you proudly announce that you’re a writer? Me? I tell them I write. More often than not this gets passed over. It does, doesn’t it? People don’t know how to respond to that particular answer. They either dismiss it completely, or they ask you if you’ve written anything they will have heard of.
I’ve been flabbergasted at the ignorance of some people, as they have tried to ridicule me for writing. It’s almost as if it’s a crime to write and say you write. They see it as being pretentious. They try to dismiss it. Do they feel threatened in some way and why? Only when they discover that I receive payment for my writing do they show an interest. Then they want to know how much. But, by then it’s too late…I’m not telling and to be absolutely frank I can’t even be bothered to talk with them about it.
I suspect that my experiences are the norm. Even so-called family members can be very non-supportive and critical…yes? So, we writers, and that’s what we are, whether Joe Blogs and the world likes it or not, plod on quietly. We cluster together in our tightly knit groups and re-assure each other, when the going gets tough and someone, whose only claim to writing fame is compiling their grocery list, tries to shoot us down in flames. The bloomin cheek of it!
So, do you call yourself a writer?
Please feel free to have a rant/rave in the comments section. We writers have to stick together.
Thanks for visiting and have a great writer’s Friday.
Until the next writer’s time.