A lot of unpublished writers I know don’t own up to it unless cornered. There’s the stereotype of the Starbucks barista who ‘accidentally’ drops their manuscript on your table if you look like an agent, but I’m pretty sure those people all live in California. Or I look nothing like an agent.
You do look like an asshole.
The point is, it seems like most unpublished writers will do anything to keep strangers, friends, family members, pets, and the cops from finding they write. If you’re not good enough for Barnes & Noble, you’re not actually writing. Heck, for the longest time, I wouldn’t even describe myself as a writer, as if doing so before I had a publishing contract would be claiming an honor I hadn’t earned.
Which makes no sense because I’ve been a professional writer for eight years now. Just not the fun kind. Even when I mention my profession, I’m always quick to qualify it lest someone get the wrong idea. “I’m a content writer for a financial company.”
What doe that even mean?
Exactly. I act like this is some sort of important distinction. A content writer certainly doesn’t write books you’ve never heard of! Those somehow aren’t content.
At least in my head, this happens because there’s a lot of us unpublished writers. And most of us suck. If you ever dare to think for even a moment that maybe you kind of don’t suck, you must be an egomaniac.
But I’m getting more and more comfortable with the idea. It helps to admit that writing a novel in the first place is a pretty egotistical act. You’re assuming you’re so interesting that someone would read a couple hundred pages of your work.
So yes, I am a writer.
This is the most first world problem you’ve had since you called out of work because the automatic door broke on the tiny spare house you keep your car in.