Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dare to Call Yourself a Writer (Guest Post)

I would like to welcome Nicole Pyles to Motivation for Creation.  Earlier this week, I guest blogged at her "place." If you would like to know how I believe writing creates mental unrest in the blog titled Fiction Fears, click here.  Otherwise, please enjoy the fabulous post Nicole has provided us.  Take it away, Nicole!
I have a confession to make.

I've never been published before.

Trust me, it isn't like I haven't tried. The latest short story I have sent to a literary magazine has seen the submission rounds since 2008. I've been working on this story for nearly four years. I'm determined and dedicated when it comes to finding a publisher.

But, so far, this short story - one very close to my heart (but then, aren't they all?) - has not found a home yet. It will. I'm determined.

So, how dare I call myself a writer.

When I first started blogging, I made a post about why I've decided to call myself a writer. For some reason, it feels a lot easier to say it to people, who haven't met you before, and right out of the gate you introduce yourself as a writer. On the blogosphere, I'm comfortable making myself known as a writer.

But, everywhere else? Like around work, around friends it isn't so easy (my family already knows and sees me as a, I'm at least one step ahead).

Of the 164 people I have as friends on Facebook, I'm not sure how many see me as a writer. Most are people from high school that I barely even spoke to back then. A few do know me as the person who would make up stories at PE, as the person who would encourage everyone to share scary stories on Halloween during lunch time, and as the person who shared and wished for her dream of becoming a published author to come true.

So, one day. I decided to take a daring step forward.

I went into the work and education field.

I added a new field, and in the position title I put...


Of course, I added my own blog and a couple of others that I write for....I felt like I needed proof of some kind. But, despite that, I still dared to call myself a writer.

I am a writer.

I will be a writer today, tomorrow, and forever.

But it isn't easy to announce it like that, you know? You have doubts. You worry someone will question you, ask you about it.

To be honest, I don't think any of my friends noticed that I even added that.

But to me, it meant a lot. It meant that someone "friending" me in the future will see that I am writer...right out of the gate.

Today, call yourself a writer. If you have a full time job non-writing related, that's okay...include an "and" in the statement of what you do for a living and say, "and I am a writer."

Because really, if you keep telling yourself you're a writer. You will begin to really believe it. Write that short story, today. Write that article you've been meaning to write. Start that novel. Handwrite it if you have to. Type it on the way home. Type it at work. Text it to yourself. It doesn't matter if you have fame, fortune, or publication. You can call yourself a writer even if you don't have that. Hell, I did.

And above all else, no matter what you do...never doubt it. You are a writer, damn it. Let someone challenge you on that. And if they do? Let me know. I'll stand by you and say with assurance that, damn it, you are a writer.

Nicole Pyles is an aspiring author who writes to inspire other writers to keep writing (yes, she knows that's a mouthful). When she's not writing stories or writing on her blog, you can catch her at the library, making video poetry, keeping up with the latest social networking fad, and at the beach. Check out her blog (especially on Wednesdays where you can catch her blog hop!) at:


  1. It took me a long time to tell people I was a writer. I don't know why. I guess I didn't want to hear their snide remarks or feel their expectations that I should be a Best-Selling author. Now I tell people because it's the truth. That's what I do, and someday I will be successful at it.
    Excellent post!

  2. I agree that it's easier announcing your "writer status" to someone you've never met before.
    I only did that for the first time a couple of months ago - I took myself by surprise, but boy, it felt good! :D
    Great post :)

  3. @E.R. King - Good for you!! It does take time! And yes you will be successful! Thank you for reading!!

    @Joanna Gawn - That's so inspiring!! I love when you can surprise yourself like that!! Thanks for reading!

  4. I am terrible about claiming being a writer. People know I write, but I don't claim it as another job title, which really it is like a second job I don't get paid for! I need to take some of your advice and get over feeling shy about a very important part of my life!

  5. Beautiful Blog.



  6. Thanks so much, Elizabeth, and welcome!

  7. When I started writing, I struggled for a long time to identify myself as a "writer" to friends, family and others. Even after I had several articles published, I hesitated to claim that ID. It's taken me twenty years to finally claim that, and that's after three published books and a career where I write feature articles for our local school district. But honestly, writing and loving the process is what makes you a writer. "Published" doesn't make you a writer. "Published" only means maybe you get paid for your work, or it's out there in somebody's magazine or in a book. That's all. So write on, writers!

  8. "What's your book about?"

    THE most dreaded four words I think I'll ever hear at a family gathering, sitting in the bleachers at my kid's ballgame or rounding the corner of the grocery isle!

    It's not like I don't know the answer to that question. Right?

    My aunt, a published writer, one of several published writers in my family,(wish their secrets/talent/hard work would rub off)told me,

    "Scarlett, if you wake up every morning wanting to write, then you are a writer!"

    I know it. I'm just wrestling for my life in the confidence department, enough to tell others and then to participate in the discussion that always follows. People, outside of my generously supportive husband and three kids who just want their dinner on time, generally equate WRITER with PUBLISHED.

    Silence falls when I tell them I've been working on the same novel for... well, you know how a year to a human is like seven to a dog? I am the dog. (To be fair, it's only been two, but you get my drift.)

    I decided a month ago, I was going to revisit my blog and put more energy into writing on a schedule. Blogging to learn more and connect more with other writers has suddenly become my new distraction from writing! I'm all the way up there to 11 followers. Yay! Every woman, man or furry animal reading over their shoulder counts.

    I can see the importance of building that platform on the horizon. I read "The Twelve Most Dangerous Words for Writers" on Writer Unboxed. It's how I found YOU.

    LOVE this post! LOVE this community!

  9. Welcome, Scarlett! I am so glad you found Motivation for Creation and all the people here who I call friends. They are some of the nicest people on the web, and are of all varying stages of their writing careers. I hope we can continue to be a supportive community for you, too!

  10. Yes, you are a writer because you have readers! :)

  11. I definitely call myself a writer, and I hope someday I can call myself an author too. hehe

  12. Good point, Diane. You can't have one without the other, really!

    Thanks for stopping by, Trisha! Your comment makes me wonder, where is that line for being an author versus a writer, too! Maybe that can be Nicole's next guest post... Or yours!

  13. I love this post and feel the same way you do. I don't know what it is about being a writer but it creates so many doubts. I finished writing a 98,000 word novel and spend hours a day writing and I still don't have "writer" on my facebook page. You really inspired me to embrace the idea and start calling myself one. From one writer to another...thanks :)

  14. Great post! I have good news and bad news . .

    The good news: I can totally relate as can ALL writers.

    The bad news: The doubt never ends. I've had several stories published in lit mags, but since none of my non-writer friends and family have ever heard of those mags and since really, not that many writers even read lit mags, then it still doesn't feel "real." I also know that writers with novels out still feel that doubt when the sales aren't great.

    Why we torture ourselves with this career path I'll never know!

  15. You bring up a good point, Nina! As writers, I don't know that we have a point where we know we have "arrived." Hopefully that made sense. Today I read a post at the Write Practice that pointed out success is never enough. We reach one goal, and then there is yet another we think we have to attain before we are a "writer." The point (lots of points in this comment) I got was that we have to just appreciate the success for what it is, and continue on.


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments below.


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