Now, you might be saying, "Um, yeah. Of course you're a writer. You write this blog. And it's about writing."
But in my career thus far - depite the fact that I've done newspaper writing, magazine writing, corporate writing, PR writing, ad copywriting, even script writing - I'm pretty sure I've never referred to myself as a "writer." All those jobs came with another title: reporter, editor, communications specialist, etc., etc. But the fact of the matter is, every professional job I've ever had has included some type of writing in the job description - even my job as an interior designer. (Somebody has to write the press releases and website copy.)
So why is it so hard for a writer to own the title?
Honestly, I'd never given the subject a minute's thought until I started writing fiction. And that's where the difficulty comes in. It isn't hard to admit I write. Pretty much everybody who knows me knows I write - especially since I've hit up pretty much every friend and acquaintance in my contact list for a quote at some point.
But not many people know I write fiction. In fact, even this blog is on the down-low. I don't link to it on Facebook (and shudder at the thought). I do link to it on Twitter, but only on the super-secret Twitter account (actually it's my only public Twitter account, but that's beside the point) created specifically to interact with other writers.
It's OK for strangers to know I write, just not friends.
What's that about? Fear of failure, I guess? Like, if people know I'm writing a book, they might ask me how the book's going, or whether it's published yet, or even worse, whether I've thought about self-publishing (not that there's anything wrong with that) like their uncle's cousin's best friend did. And I'm a pretty private person, so the thought of answering those questions is kind of mortifying.
But there are other, more benign reasons for my covert behavior. Like, I figured my friends who do know I'm writing fiction (and who are now being hit up to read said fiction) were probably sick to death of hearing about it. That was my main motivation for starting this blog and creating my Twitter account - to give myself an outlet for discussing the HUGE part of my life that is writing without systematically driving away all my friends.
I don't know when I'm going to feel comfortable owning the title of writer. When a work of fiction is published with my name on it? When I'm actually able to make a decent living solely through my wordsmithing capabilities? When I get over myself and just admit that this is what I do and who I am?
Step One: admitting there's a problem....