So the other day I was talking with an acquaintance who had recently visited my facebook page and saw my bio. “So you’re a writer?” she asked. I started explaining to her all the things I do, starting with my editing job and the other day-to-day work I do with Writer’s Digest. In hindsight I realized I should have started by telling her about my writing. It’s almost like I felt the need to validate being a writer by explaining that I was also an editor and worked for a publisher.
Why as writers do we feel so tentative about what we do? Why do we feel that unless something is published and deemed a success by others that it isn’t noteworthy? I got around to telling this person about the book I wrote a couple of years ago and about the subjects I tend to write about personally, but only after mentioning my editing work.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be an editor and enjoy all aspects of my career in publishing. But, I can’t help feeling that I should have started off my answer to this person by talking about the writing project I’m currently working on. After all, she asked about my writing. I should have said, “Yes, I’m a writer and I like to write stories about North American folklore monsters!” Doesn’t that cut to the chase a bit better?
The point is, remember to be proud of your writing. Don’t treat your craft like a dirty little secret that you need to constantly defend or explain.