I write a lot. I’ve almost finished writing my first book, I’ve had two short stories published; so, why do I find it so difficult to say ‘I am a writer.’ Even typing it here makes me cringe a little. Why?
Confidence: I always thought that once I saw my name in print alongside something I had written, I would begin to feel like a writer. This happened last November, and of course, I still felt the same. Maybe if I wrote a book? My first draft is almost done, and I have a funny feeling that I won’t magically become a writer as I type ‘The End.’
To me Jodi Picoult is a writer, Jane Austen, Stephen King. Even most of my friends on Twitter, I view as writers. Me? Not so much.
Validation: I feel extremely guilty about my writing time. As a busy single mum, there are hundreds of things I could or should be doing rather than writing. Even when the toddler is tucked up in bed, I feel like everything else should be done before I write. I do write while surrounded by toys and with a huge ironing pile towering over me, but I feel guilty for every second. It seems like a reckless waste of time and so indulgent. Whilst doing NaNo last year, I ended up writing into the early hours, thanks to this guilt.
Embarassment: At Christmas, we visited my boyfriend’s family and his Aunt remarked on something they had seen on Facebook about ‘Shambelurkling and Other Stories.’ As I shrugged it off, desperately trying to change the subject, my boyfriend told them all about it. I sat there with my crimson face, wishing the ground would open up and swallow me. Why? I should have been proud of what I had achieved, yet I was almost ashamed.
Fear of rejection: I still manage to work myself up into a frenzy about people seeing my work. This is one area I have improved in, but it still haunts me. Hitting ‘send’ is by far the hardest part of any submission for me. I’m sure I’ve missed out on opportunities thanks to this deep rooted terror.
How do you feel about calling yourself a writer?