When people ask you, “What do you do?” What do you say?
This is a question I struggle with. I’m going to skirt the issue of what the definition of “Writer,” is as opposed to that of being an “Author,” and just focus on the vocation itself.
After finishing my first book, Coffee House Mafia, when people asked me what I did, I told them, chin held high, that I was a writer. I kept up this attitude in the hopes that calling myself a writer would make me one. However, after watching my book flounder on Amazon and Smashwords, I stopped calling myself that. I didn’t feel like I could call myself a writer if I wasn’t successful at it.
Even now, though I’ve self-published several short stories and continue to work on another novel, I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a writer. Instead, when someone asks me the dreaded vocation question, I report on my part time, non-writer work and then kind of slip it in there that I also write part time.
And then they ask the next dreaded question – “Are you published?”
As a self-published, e-book author (Look! I called myself an author right there!), I feel that I’m published. But the writing world is a tricky one these days. Though many authors are fairly successful with the self-published e-book, there still seems to be a stigma against calling oneself a “published” author when one has self-published. Explaining this to the person who asked me my vocation either makes me look self-depreciative (by explaining that I’m not really published yet) or worse, turns into a lecture about the publishing industry.
For now, I’ll stick with calling myself a part-time writer.