RB: What do you do?

“I am a writer.”

Those are the words I shout in my head when someone asks me what I do for a living. What actually comes out of my mouth is completely different.

“I’m a high school secretary.”

I’ve written stories since my teenage years. I’ve been writing with the hopes of getting published since my early twenties, but I have never stood up and claimed to be a writer.

What makes someone a writer? Writing every day? Being published? Making enough money to quit my day job?

Who should decide what I call myself? Me? My readers? The public? Merriam-Webster said I was a writer back in high school. A writer is “one who writes”. Dictionary.com is not as firm with its answer. It says a writer is “a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist”.

My first book will be published this year and my confidence at calling myself writer is growing. Though once my book is out I wonder if I will still hesitate to answer that question truthfully. Will I need readers to validate my passion? Good reviews?

Soon, I would like to think that I will have the courage and belief in myself to stand up and shout to anyone who is interested, I AM A WRITER.

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6 thoughts on “RB: What do you do?

  1. I have yet to use writer as my official “profession”. I get the feeling that when people ask me what do I do, they’re inquiring about my main money-making job, not the one I do on the side. 😦

    • Yes, I agree. But I’d like to start answering how I want to be seen and not just what the public wants to hear. We are writers, hear us roar! 😉 -RB

  2. I feel confident in telling people I’m a writer too now that I have a book coming out this year. Finally having a contract too gives me an excuse to really start putting my efforts in building my writing career up to full-time writer status. It won’t be easy, but I will either do that or editing. I’m going for an English degree in middle education, but I feel apathetic about being a teacher. Maybe that will change once I get in the field, but I only care to be a writer, an editor, or both (preferably both).

    I know when I got that contract, I told my fiancé, “I finally feel like a writer!” And it’s true because now all my work is justified, those hours I spent by myself pounding away at a story people wondered if it would ever see daylight.

    • I feel the same way about my day job. I only chose that occupation because it was something that I was good at doing: handling multiple things at once. But writing is my passion, it’s what I look forward to doing every day. -RB

  3. I think Websters is correct, you are a writer because you write. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your book.

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