The one thing that I have difficulty with is introducing myself as a writer especially since I am not published. What amazes me is that in social situations, I can be quite chatty and have no qualms about discussing my age, religious beliefs or political opinions. But to tell someone that I write and dream of one day making a living as a writer — well that would be akin to baring my soul.
To be honest, it took me thirty years to even admit to people that I liked to write. I have wanted to write since I was nine. I spent my teenage years writing angst filled romances that I kept buried at the bottom of my closet (which in hindsight was probably a good idea). As I went through college, I never told a soul that while studying for my nursing degree, I was also finishing my first manuscript.
When I moved to Ireland five years ago, I was both determined to take my writing seriously and produce something, and be more upfront about it. I did start mentioning to people (other than my sister) that I liked to write. What initially helped was joining a writer’s group. Prior to that, I felt isolated and as if I were the only one writing to be published. Then I met other people with the same dream and suddenly, being a writer and telling people did not seem so far fetched.
The writer’s group led to other things: a magazine article, another writer’s group, the Book-in-a-Week website and my own blogs. When I put my blog post onto Facebook and basically announced to all of my family, friends and casual acquaintances, that yes, I like to write, it was an important step for me. No more hiding in the closet with those manuscripts from my teenage years.
Do you tell people that you’re a writer? And if not, why not?