Are you a real writer? What does that mean to you?
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As the creator of Quips and Tips for Successful Writers, one of the things I’ve always, always struggled with is the fact that I’m not a traditionally published author.
Can I run a strong, successful writing website when I’ve never been published? Never worked with an editor at a publishing house? Never received royalty checks? Never mourned my remainders?
Sure, I’ve been supporting myself as a freelance writer and blogger for four years, I write BC Women’s Hospital’s monthly eNews articles, I get article assignments from editors without having to pitch, I speak at conferences, and I even turn down consulting and writing work.
But it’s not enough.
This weekend I spoke at the first annual Women and Words Conference in Vancouver, and I asked several people if I can really call myself a writer. They said yes, of course, definitely, you’re all that and more!
The thing is, I don’t feel like a real writer.
If you’re in the same boat and you want to make money writing, read Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Allen. A fantastic resource for writers!
Anyway, I’m ramping up my writing career — or “upping my game”, as one of the women at the conference encouraged us to do! I’m returning to my pursuit of a traditional book publishing contract. An agent.
Here’s the fleece, the confirmation that I’m moving in the right direction: I just discovered that someone called Auden posted a huge list of her favorite “Quips and Tips” writing links on Mibba – The Adventurous Writer. Lots of people left comments; here’s the one that really resonated with me:
“I could never trust people who give writerly advice without actually being actual published writers,” says Mr W.H.
Though the sentence needs a bit o’ editing, the sentiment reflects my exact feelings! To me, a real writer is someone who 1) makes money writing; and 2) has been traditionally published.
Fellow scribes, what do YOU think it means to be a REAL writer?
Do you feel weird calling yourself a writer? How about a blogger, story teller, poet? I welcome your thoughts below…