Introducing Yourself as a Writer

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. man holding bull horn

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?

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About Michele Brouder

After living for seven years in Ireland, former Buffalonian, Michele Brouder now calls Florida home. Her first book, a YA paranormal, is due to be published sometime in 2014 for Harlequin E, Harlequin’s new digital format. Learn more from her contributor page.

Comments

  1. says

    I usually don’t tell people outside my family that I am writer. I think it is the fact that I am unpublished and the fear of someone asking to read what I have written that stops me from telling people. Silly I know, and there is a mountain to climb here but someday I will be brave enough.

  2. Carla in MN says

    I didn’t start to tell folks that I am a writer until I went to graduate school for writing. Now that I am published, but on a very small scale, I have avoided calling myself a writer because my primary earnings are from something other than writing.

    Reading this reminds me that I need to proclaim loud and proud that I am a writer – in all situations.

  3. Cheryl J says

    I am like you in that I have never been published (other than letters to the editor :-)). I also have loved to write since I was a child – around six. So, yes, it’s tough to introduce myself as a writer. I am with you there. In the last few years I have tried to be more focused on writing (of some type at least).

    Sometimes it seems like if we don’t make money at something, that it doesn’t hold a lot of importance. And maybe I don’t want to be held accountable or feel like a failure. Anyway, your post is a good reminder that I DO need to put myself out there as a writer.

  4. Amanda says

    I agree that it is tough to introduce myself as a writer. Apart from my family and close friends, no one else knows that I like to write and wish to one day become a published author. I am currently working on my first manuscript as well while studying for my bachelor’s degree.

    I think the reason why I have yet to announce to everyone that I am a writer is the fear that they might ask to read something I have written. I don’t believe my work to be bad but it just takes a lot to put myself and my work out there for someone else to possibly criticize. My next step is to have my work posted in a magazine and to start blogging as I have already joined several web sites. Maybe by then it will gradually become easier to introduce myself as a writer as more of my work is published.

    • says

      Amanda, I agree. To admit to being a writer before publication is to put yourself out there. And writing can be such a personal thing that it can be hard to open up about it. I think you’re right to start building yourself up as a writer by writing for magazines and blogging- it’s a good to get your feet wet. Good luck!

  5. says

    Hello Michele,
    I read your interesting feature about your passion to be a writer. You have that gift as a talent and no doubt you could be a great writer one day. However, there something I don’t understand here: Why do you need an agent for your paranormal novel? In my opinion looking for an agent seems your script isn’t good enough. I want to give you full assurance that you could be successful a writer without any agent. They are stumbling blocks to progress. That is the way I see them as a published author.

    • says

      I appreciate your comment, Joel. I’m schooled in the traditional route of publishing, I guess: write a book, find an agent, get it published. It’s not that looking for an agent says that my work isn’t good enough, it’s more like saying I need someone to put me contact with the right publisher. Although with the epublishing phenonomen going on right now, I probably don’t need an agent. Although I would like one.

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