Should I own it? – Insecure Writer’s Support Group December

What? It’s December already?

Before I frantically try to do all my Christmas shopping, here’s my Insecure Writer’s Support Group Post, and a very happy December to the IWSG host, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

IWSG badge

Listening to Radio 4’s Burlesque Legends on the way home from my day job, and one performer said, ‘this is who I am. If I didn’t do this I wouldn’t be me’.

This was another nail in the coffin of,

  1. I find it embarrassing to admit what I do for my day job (don’t worry, it doesn’t involve body parts),
  2. On her blog Kristen Lamb is always railing against the term ‘aspiring writer’.  If you write, she writes, you are doing it already.

In light of this I had a small internal conversation with some random person I may be introduced to at sime time in the future. Yes, I do that.  It went something like this,

Hypothetical Stranger: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a writer.

Hypothetical Stranger: Cool. (He/She then asks the fatal question…) Have you had anything published?

Me: Sure, short stories (true), blog articles (also true) and some stuff in magazines (still true).

But I feel like such a fraud when I say that.


Hypothetical Stranger: So what do you do?

Me: Alligator wrestler…

Is anyone else out there with a day job owning their writing? How do you react when asked what it is that you do?

I’d love to know.




10 thoughts on “Should I own it? – Insecure Writer’s Support Group December

  1. My 2016 goals is to answer I’m a writer whenever I’m asked about what I do for a living. Yes, I’m not making any money and yes I have a day job. But that’s really to help pay the bills and the cost of living. Will I be nervous as hell, yes I will. But I’ll try my hardest to show that it’s not just a hobby. Been told that before and not up to hearing it again. Besides it’s so far from the truth.

  2. Alligator wrestling sounds dangerous! I feel better if you’re just a simple writer like the rest of us. It’s safer. Seriously, alligator wrestler? You wrestle them with you mermaid tail to the bottom of the sea? Or should I say, you use your mermaid tail to wrestle them to the bottom of the sea? Or maybe: You wrestle them to the bottom of the sea with your mermaid tail? Or should that be tale?

  3. As a stay at home father, who is a writer, but not professionally, I get the worst sorts of questions and comments. I have grown a thick skin over the last 4 years, and regardless of what anyone thinks, I’m proud of my work at home, and my writing. That comfort didn’t come easy, but once I realized it was my own expectations and fears that were making me uncomfortable with where I was and who I was, it was easier to confront. We do what we have to do sometimes to keep going and get where we want to be. The path is different for each of us. Wrestle alligators, dig ditches, clean toilets, whatever it takes to keep writing. Best of luck.

  4. I am used to saying I am a writer now and believe me it gets a lot easier. I worked with Hospice patients until 3-months ago when I was burned out enough and brave enough to become a full-time writer. I hated to see the look on peoples faces when I said Hospice. But hey, someone has to do it.
    Keep moving forward and yes, own it!

  5. I’m doing what Lidy is doing – saying I am a writer to people. My day job is translation, editing, and proofreading, so it isn’t far off, but I much prefer to identify as a writer. It takes guts and whenever someone asks me that question, my heart starts to beat at lightning speeds. Recently I had a realization that what I do in my day job makes me a better writer and it’s helping me improve much more quickly than if I was just writing and working on my own stuff. Plus, it’s teaching me time management. Some of the best writers had day jobs, but we only call them writers, so that’s a great argument for that.

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