This post is probably closely related to my It’s a Confidence Game, being able to tell someone you are a writer takes a lot of confidence.
Accepting a new role into our already hectic life is challenging. At first calling myself a writer was like getting those stretch blue jeans out of the dryer and putting them on. They are a little snug at first and you start to wonder if those three extra pounds you put on has pushed you into the next size, and you need to buy new pants, but you realize the longer you have them on the better they fit. Calling myself a writer, followed the same sort of pattern. At first it didn’t seem right and I felt awkward about telling people. I mean what if my work was crap? I didn’t want anyone to know. Now, I smile looking back on those memories.
I no longer feel awkward when someone at work asked me what I did over the weekend. I don’t come up with that standardized answer of “oh, not much we sort of just relaxed.” Now I proudly respond “I wrote on my book” and blah, blah whatever else we did. It’s amazing how many people will actually ask what my book is about. That was another reason, I was afraid to call myself a writer, I didn’t know what to say when someone asked me what my book was about. I would timidly respond, “well, I don’t know. It’s about a guy whose wife dies and how he rebuilds his life.” Anyone who knows me realizes the words Amanda Staley and timid do not go well together. I still don’t have the perfect answer for that question (obviously I need to come up with a tagline and elevator pitch), but now I proudly give them a brief synopsis of my book.
I am a writer, it’s part of me. When I started using the writer label, I called myself an aspiring writer. It didn’t take long before I shed that title. I realized saying aspiring in front of writer, just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t aspiring to write, I was writing. I noticed I was using aspiring much in the same way I use “need to”. When ever I tend to use the “need to” phrase, it something that has to get done, but I have no intention of getting to it anytime soon. I didn’t want that to the case with my writing. So I just started calling myself a writer. Now I’m getting to the point in my writing career where I use the labels writer and author interchangeably. I have written a book, but I just haven’t published it. I am proud of what I do and I want people to realize I’m not ashamed to of my choices to be a writer and author. I love my characters and plot and I want to share them with everyone.
Have you accepted the role of being a writer? Or are you still struggling with the label?