Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG--Claiming the Title

Morgan Shamy had a very intriguing post (read it here) last week about labeling yourself as a writer that still lingers in the confidence part of my brain because her words made me realize I still don't call myself a writer.

How can this be when I have proof to back up such a claim?

Proof #1: I write.
Proof #2: I've written a book (more than one).
Proof #3: I have a blog so I can write about writing.
Proof #4: I am involved on a daily basis with fellow writers in this amazing community.

Why do I still feel odd calling myself a writer?

I have children, therefore I am a mother. I say that without hesitation. I have a husband, therefore I am a wife. I am a daughter, a sister, and a friend, all of which I claim easily.

I've played soccer my entire life, continue to play regularly, have all the equipment, pay to play and hold a player's card, therefore I am a soccer player.

On the other hand, I've painted many paintings, have a space for my easel and supplies in my loft, even given paintings away as gifts and people hang them in their homes, yet I do not call myself a painter.

Maybe that's it. Maybe I need some margin of success that can be documented over time. Maybe I need to spend years writing to make me feel worthy of calling myself a writer.

Leigh Covington had a post about affirmations (read it here) during the A to Z challenge so I wrote one down. It says "I am a good writer. My story is good." I know it's not the most knock-your-socks-off affirmation, but I thought I'd start small.

Thanks to Morgan's wake-up blog post and Leigh's idea for having an affirmation, I will now read this aloud every day, practicing the idea of claiming my spot as a writer.

My name is Hope. I am a writer.

**click on the Insecure Writer's Support Group image at the top to  join and support other writers**


  1. It's hard to say "I'm a writer," but I don't know why. I have been a freelance writer for several years and it took me a long time to say, "I'm a writer." But it's good to say it. I hope you can do it more often - because you are super talented!

  2. This was great! I struggle with calling myself a writer as well, because only writers seem to understand what that means. The outside world has no clue how much time and heartache goes into it- and just because I'm not published doesn't mean I'm not good. I am so, so greatful for the writing community! I don't think I could do it without you all! :)

  3. I barely know you, and even I'm positive you're a writer!

    It took a while before I was able to call myself a writer and mean it. The first time someone asked me what I do and I answered, "I'm a writer," I felt an enormous weight lift from my shoulders. I think it's very important that every writer take that step! We need to stop giving ourselves reasons not to be confident.

    Your dreams don't come true unless you believe in them! After all, if you won't . . . why should anyone else?

    Now go get to work on those business cards. ;)


  4. I know what you mean. I'm a photographer, but because I'm not a professional photographer, I don't feel like I'm a real photographer. I've had an easier time accepting I'm a writer, even though I've been a photographer longer.

  5. I recently came out of the closet during a leadership training meeting. I am a writer. They took it rather well. Actually, I felt great. I think it's really us who make a big deal out of it because it is about being exposed, raw and holding true to our own affirmations. Until I stop writing, I am a writer. =)

  6. Ohhh... Hope! This gave me chills. There is such power in those words. And Hope, you ARE a writer. A GREAT one. And this post INSPIRED me to be more confident about my work... I'm always looking at what I can improve, how I can be better, but maybe I need to send a little positive energy into the universe and repeat those words to myself every morning too ;)

  7. It's very hard for me to say "I'm a writer" when people ask. Mostly, when asked what I do, I say "nothing" because apparently, it's better for them to think I'm a couch surfer than a writer.

    So good for you for saying it.

  8. It's odd. I can say, "I'm a writer," because I know that as a person who writes, I am a writer. I have a lot more trouble with calling myself an author. For some reason, that word holds significantly more power. I guess it feels more professional to me, like only people who are published get to be called *authors*.

  9. I still can't say "I'm a writer" either. I bought myself a pin on etsy that say "i write." My sister-in-law asked me what I bought and I was almost too embarrassed to tell her. In my head I think she's thinking, "Okay, you write, but no one actually reads it." Now, I know she's not thinking that, but I still get insecure.
    That's great that you are working on building that confidence. Let me know if it works, I'll have to try it, too! :)

  10. Ah. This is so huge. I don't admit to the outside world that much. Like the people I work with. Yikes. But for the most part I admit to myself and family that I am a writer. Now author...that is not going to be said in conjunction to my name until something is publish.

    Great post!!

    Hi my name in Jenny and I'm a writer too.

  11. Holy cow girl you are talented! I claim writerhood for myself but that's because (besides motherhood) I don't really have anything else. But I think it's good to acknowledge it anyway so that you take yourself seriously. It won't do any good to use the excuse of not being a writer to not finish what you've started :)

  12. i wait for the day to call myself an author =)

    i read their posts, good stuff, and yours is too!

  13. I think many of us have an little bit of an easier time saying "I'm a writer" than "I'm an author." Is there a difference? Maybe there's a difference in connotation. Or maybe it's an issue of self-awareness.

  14. Hello. My name is Kelley and I...I...


    Wow! That feels really good! Thanks Hope :)

    (PS. I always saying 'my writing friend Hope' when I'm talking about you. So you've been a writer in my book for a LONG time :))

  15. Yes you are - and a darn fine one :)

    Next stop - buy yourself some business cards... I give mine out to whomever I meet and it actually stops the sidelong glances..... "hmmm, is he really a writer... oh, look, he has a business card. OK, that's cool :)

  16. That is a good affirmation. I feel the same way all the time, stumbling when I tell people I'm a writer. I'll try to follow your example.

    P.S. A fellow soccer player. Awesome!

  17. I never say I'm a writer (even though I have all the characteristics), but usually say I want to BE a writer. Which is kind of lame because it's not the level of success that counts. It's always about the stories, when you can make them appear out of nowhere, you're a writer. (or magician :-)...)

  18. I remember when my 8th grade English teacher was asking the class who wanted to be certain things when we got older, and kind of looked at me when she asked if anyone had a dream of being a writer, since she knew I wrote. I didn't put my hand up, since as far as I was concerned even back then, I already WAS a writer, just not a published one. Saying I "wanted" to be a writer would've implied I hadn't written anything yet and that writing would be something I'd just start in the future.

  19. Good for you. Own it, sista. I finally embraced it one day and it felt great. Now I just feel a tad awkward when I have to answer the "have you published anything?" question as still no. But in time. Pubbed works does not a writer make. Writing makes a writer, and I do plenty of it.
    Cheers, fellow writer!

  20. Yes you are! I have a lot of trouble calling myself a writer. I've been blogging for a year-ish. I have been writing for almost a decade (but have not finished anything or published anything. I write a few chapters and go back and edit...OCD...and then I just never finish it. Caught in the endless cycle of editing). I am working on my very first (actually going to be published and finished) novel right now. Maybe when that one's complete I'll be able to call myself a writer?

    Happy writing to you!

  21. I think when we say "I'm a writer", it feels sometimes like there's a full stop after the statement, as if we're saying that's all we do. Of course, all of us do other things as well (in your case, you play soccer and raise your kids, and other things; in my case, I work full time as a librarian and write songs, for e.g.). So we're not JUST writers. But we are certainly writers.