How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’

I was on the phone today having a lovely chat, thinking nothing of it, when the person at the other end came out with;

“You’re a writer, aren’t you?”

I hesitated for a second. A few days ago my answer would’ve rolled off the tongue without a second thought. Something like;

“Well, I’m trying to be”


“No, not really, it’s just something I’m pursuing in my spare time.”

As I ummed and ahhed for another second, a thought-provoking series of tweets sprung to mind from Joanne Harris. Earlier this month she tweeted #TenWaysToFightImposterSyndrome. (Look it up).

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Screenshot 2017-03-17 at 18.48.37

I’ve been referring to myself as an ‘aspiring writer’ without a second thought. Because;

  • I’m not *really* published (even though I am but everyone on the course was so it doesn’t really count)
  • I’ve never been paid for my creative writing
  • Not many people have ever read anything I’ve written
  • I don’t write enough. Definitely not every day

Screenshot 2017-03-17 at 18.51.15

I agree with Joanne. What’s also true of me is that;

  • I write
  • I love writing
  • My creative writing is getting better
  • I will have something published in the Spring
  • I work in public relations and I actually write all the time in my professional life

So really, I am a writer. And if you’re reading this, it’s very likely you are too.

After an awkward pause on the phone today that probably lasted too long, I eventually did answer “yes”. And I will do next time I’m asked.

Published by JanelleHAuthor

I’m currently writing my debut novel, ‘Up to the Stars’ (working title). If you love the work of Rachel Joyce, Mike Gayle, Kit de Wall, Beth O’Leary and Lia Louis, then I’m writing my book for you. What else might you like to know? I’m a Yorkshire lass in Manchester. I married my childhood sweetheart. I regularly engage in tsundoku – apparently it’s a Japanese word which means buying lots of books that you’ll never get round to reading. I also sing.

3 thoughts on “How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’

  1. Good stuff, all. I love those that speak about writing as a calling as much as (or more than) an occupation.
    I even take it a step back! I like to call myself a content creator. Everytime I write something, record a post, find the appropriate picture or even put in a clever hyperlink. I’m creating content, and for whatever reason, that’s a category I’m much less self conscious about.


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