Wednesday, January 8, 2014

BE PROUD

by Kathy Cannon Wiechman

Today's post is part of Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

I have written previous blog posts abut the six P’s a writer should have: Pride, Practice, Professionalism, Patience, Perseverance, and Passion. Five of these are pretty self-explanatory, but what about the first? After all, isn’t Pride one of the Seven Deadly Sins? Doesn’t Pride goeth before a fall and shame follows after?

But I don’t mean Pride as Vanity.

I have been to many workshops or meetings where each participant is asked to introduce him or herself and tell why they came. So often the answer is, “I’m a wannabe writer.” Or “I’m trying to become a writer.”

I might ask, “Do you write?” Or “Have you written something?” If the answer is “Yes,” that person is a writer. Writer is not the same as published writer, just as poet is not the same as published poet and novelist is not the same as published novelist. Simply put, if you write, you are a writer.

So proclaim it proudly, “I am a writer!” Of course, that statement may evoke questions like “What have you written?” or “Are you published?”

Be honest. In my case, I have written 11 novels, several dozen short stories, hundreds of poems, and more than 70 blog posts. So far, other than the blog posts, one short story and three poems were published, but I was a writer long before any of that happened. In a year or so, I expect to have my first published novel, but I have been a novelist for decades. I have worked hard and I deserve the title “writer.” If you write, so do you.

Be proud. Say the words. “I am a writer!”

Kathy (right) and Kim working on novels Like a River and Muleskinner at the last Swagger retreat.


19 comments:

  1. Okay, I can do that. Thanks for reminding us not to apologize for being a writer.

    And a big congrats to Kim on her award.

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  2. Right on! Me too! I am a writer/novelist! Thanks for posting this and happy new year!

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    1. Happy new year to you, Lisa. And happy writing always!

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    1. Thanks! We writers have to stick together & stick up for one another. Stay proud!

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  4. You're so right, and it's a great message for IWSG. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome, Liz. Glad the message rings true for you. Pride!

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  5. Good message. It is hard when someone asks are you published and you're not. It took a while but I didn't cringe and mumble "no." I learned to keep my head up and say "not yet" or "soon". Be proud indeed.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. "Not yet" was often my answer, too. Non-writers seldom realize how hard we work on our craft. We deserve to be proud of all those efforts.

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  6. Very true. So here goes: I am a writer! Great IWSG post!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Good for you! Keep writing & stay proud.

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  7. Kathy - Thanks for spreading this message!

    Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )

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    1. It's a message I needed to hear when I first heard it. Glad it resonates with so many.

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  8. I also have trouble referring to myself as a writer, though I've published three short stories. It also doesn't help when my mom tells me that I should get published! Thanks for the much needed encouragement Kathy, and best of luck with your novel! Happy New Year!

    Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Three short stories is a cause for pride. It's hard for non-writers to understand what it's like on this side of the game. Keep your chin up and don't let anyone else's opinion get you down.

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