What Makes a “Real” Writer?

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I’m finally home from speaking in Pennsylvania. Was honored to keynote for The Write Stuff Conference and super sad to leave. I get so attached to the writers and miss them when I have to go. Their passion, imagination and enthusiasm never fails to inspire me. I’d keep them and collect them in my basement except apparently this is called “taking hostages” and is “illegal” *rolls eyes*

…that, and I don’t have a basement.

I never prepare a speech. I’ve tried. But I am too ADD and end up ignoring/forgetting everything I prepared, so why not save time? Also, I present quite often and never want attendees to feel like they will hear the same things from me. Every class, every presentation is new. I love listening to those around me so my content fits better because it’s custom made.

This said, when I arrived in Pennsylvania, I had no idea what my keynote would be about specifically, so I had to keep my ears open for the common themes.

There is NO Aspiring

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Some of you have fallen for this when I speak. I will begin and ask how many aspiring writers are in the room. Yes, it is a trick question and yeah, it is more than a little evil of me, but it never fails to make a point. When the timid new writers “follow instructions” and raise their hands I yell, “NO! Stop it! You are a pre-published writer. Do or do not; there is NO TRY. 

Screw aspiring. Aspiring is for the weak and it takes guts to do this job.

Hey, I did it too. When I was new, I’d written tens of thousands of words, spent every spare moment reading about writing, studying, going to writing groups instead of the mall. I spent every spare bit of money on conferences instead of a vacation…but I was aspiring? NO. Writers WRITE. Stop being existential. We are REAL.

No one meets a lawyer who just passed the bar and asks if they are a “real” lawyer.

Really? A lawyer? How many cases have you won? 

Granted there are aspiring writers. They are pretty easy to spot because they say the same crap:

Yes, well I want to write a book, but I just have to find the free time.

My life is SO interesting. It would make a GREAT novel. Hey, how about I give you my story, you write the book and I will give you half?

Um? NO.

Writers Deserve RESPECT 

This is my new hot button and I’m going to handle future interactions very differently because I’ve had enough. I spent all day Wednesday traveling across the country. Didn’t get to bed until midnight. Presented from 8:00 in the morning until almost 6:00 in the evening. We were rallying to leave for dinner at the bar of the hotel’s restaurant and THIS conversation actually happened:

Guy at Bar: *looks at me and two fellow authors and starts polite conversation* What are you doing here?

Me: We are writers.

GAB: Really? *genuine shock face* You are writers? Like…real writers?

Me: Yes.

GAB: Real writers? People actually DO that? For a living? This is your real job?

Me: Yes.

GAB: How much money do you make? You can live off that?

OKAY, I am DONE. I have had this conversation WAY too many times. So, the next time someone does this the conversation is going to look like this:

Me: Well, what do you do?

GAB: Human resources. I’m an HR manager.

Me: Wow *genuine shock face*. People DO that? That’s a real job?

GAB: Yes.

Me: Are you sure? Don’t they have an app for that? Or robots? How many people are you in charge of? Can people make money at that? Really? HR. You can live off that? How much money do you make?

And THIS is why Kristen requires adult supervision😀

Thing is, yes humans do write for fun or for a hobby. But if we are asked what our job is and respond, “I’m a writer” odds are we are not writing bad haiku on a Starbuck’s napkin all day.

And I get it. Writers (creative professionals) are like unicorns. Everyone knows about them just they would be pretty shocked to meet a real one. Yet, what other profession has to endure this amount of disrespect? No one else has to cough up a tax return or show a profit to prove their job exists.

Keep this in mind. If we don’t respect who we are and what we do then why would anyone else?

Stop Apologizing

Image with Twig the Fairy

Image with Twig the Fairy

I hate the term “aspiring writer” because it takes guts to do this job. Everyone loves what we do. Their lives would implode without it. Without writers there would be no entertainment, no instruction, no industry. No movies, no television series, no books, no manuals, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, warning labels, laws, speeches, and all songs would be instrumental. No lyrics. Heck there wouldn’t even be an Internet.

It would be all pictures of cats.

Modern society hinges on writers. If we can take a step back and truly take in all we contribute it’s easier to own our profession and value it. Most people take what we do for granted because they fail to make the connection that their favorite television show began as an idea and started with a writer. 

They just assume they will log onto the Internet and be able to google anything they want. It’s easy to forget someone wrote that information.

So yes, I get it. This is a tough job. But if what we do didn’t matter then why is it dictators arrest and shoot the writers first?😉

Writing is More than Literacy

Help those with no voice!

Help those with no voice!

Yes, it is probably great to be literate to become a writer, but what we do is more than stringing words together in sentences. We have a unique set of eyes and see the world in a way mere mortals cannot. I saw this mannequin while out shopping with the family. I guarantee you that hundreds of people had passed by without wondering why the mannequins were getting too fat for their cardigans.

😀

Before my keynote, a fellow writer told me the story of how he was staying in a hotel that was run by foreigners. We’ve all seen the signs clearly written by someone who didn’t have English as a first language. Anyway, he’s in the bathroom and there is this sign that reads:

Beware of Soap Dish

I have NO idea what that warning was trying to convey, but as a writer? What the hell is so dangerous about that soap dish? It is demonic? Does it try to eat people when they sleep? Does it steal souls? I might have even had to call management to know exactly what makes this particular soap dish so sketchy…

And THIS is the stuff writers think about😀 .

What are your thoughts? Do you struggle with apologizing for what you do? Do you get tired of having to justify your profession? Are you now going to ask people if they are real doctors?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of MARCH, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Also, for more help on how to use characters to ratchet anxiety to the nerve-shreding level, I am finally back teaching and offering my Understanding the Antagonist Class on April 18th and YES, it is recorded in case you miss or need to listen again because this class is jammed with information.

I LOVE teaching this simply because our antagonists are pivotal for writing a story (series) readers can’t put down. Yet, too often we fail to harness characters for max effect. I look forward to seeing you there! I also offer the Gold level for one-on-one. Maybe you’ve hit a dead end. Your story is so confusing you need a GPS and a team of sherpas to find the original idea. Instead of wasting time with misguided revisions, I can help you triage your WIP and WHIP it into fighting form😀 .

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by daleamidei on March 30, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Now we’re back to that whole Velveteen Rabbit thing.

  2. #2 by The Poetry Channel on March 30, 2015 - 12:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Writing, In Black and White.

  3. #3 by Betsy Pritts Ickes on March 30, 2015 - 12:34 pm

    Love this post, Kristen! One all my writer friends should read – both published and pre-published. I’m sharing!

  4. #4 by grhambley on March 30, 2015 - 12:36 pm

    Love the piece.

    I had a thought a couple days ago and I’ll share it here first. I wondered if H.R. Generalists in the (eyes roll) business world are like the Labourers in the Construction Industry. Now that I’ve thought about it, nah cuz Labourers actually clean stuff up.

    I’ve said to a number of individuals, “it’s people that make this stuff up, I’m one of them”. While they are hearing me say that, these individuals are also getting a look that would even terrify the flying monkeys!

    You are absolutely correct on seeing. I have said to people that I see very differently than most people.

    I don’t miss much. Glad I didn’t miss this one of yours.

  5. #5 by Tori Scott on March 30, 2015 - 12:38 pm

    I have 20 books out, have been on the Amazon best seller lists multiple times, but my husband’s family still treats me like I’m a wanna be writer. They read romance, but wouldn’t even think of reading mine. They couldn’t possibly be any good, right? Any advice on how to deal with this? I know I’m a real writer, darn it. But I still let them make me feel like a pretender.

    • #6 by mateekaquinn on March 30, 2015 - 2:49 pm

      I think some people get caught up in the “mysterious author persona” thing. Authors aren’t real people, how could someone you know actually be one? And at that, be a good one? Impossible! Sigh. I’m sorry.

    • #7 by Christine Hendersht on March 31, 2015 - 1:44 pm

      Tori, I feel your pain. Sometimes family can be the most hurtful. After all, you expect more from them….they’re family after all. You mistakenly expect them to be supportive. Sadly, that is often not the case. I will share the story of my own family’s snub. My aunt, who I was very close to until I stepped out of the “box” she placed me in, was very hurtful. I sent her a few little essays I’d written over the years and she told me that my writing was so bad that she could not even respond, and that my sister was the writer, not me. My sister did write two beautiful poems about my grandparents many years ago in college. The only response I received from my aunt when she heard about my book release was, “Who is your publisher?” That question was meant to be a dig, since she knew I was self publishing. Then, a month after my book came out, she took my sister’s poems, had them professionally reprinted over photos of my grandparents, framed them and sent them out as “gifts” to every family member. She emailed me and asked me if I received her gift from “the writer” in the family.

      • #8 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 31, 2015 - 6:20 pm

        OUCH!!!! My family didn’t talk to me for two years when I decided to become a writer. They were vexed as to why I didn’t get a “real” job. Le sigh… But now they are my biggest supporters, so yeah. Family can be brutal.

      • #9 by pontiuscominius on April 1, 2015 - 12:24 am

        You could write this aunt in to a book. She could be the antagonist.

        • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 1, 2015 - 3:06 pm

          AGREED!

          • #11 by pontiuscominius on April 1, 2015 - 7:19 pm

            Except no one would believe someone could be this mean. “Nah,” the editors would say, “That character is just too brutal and vicious.”

  6. #12 by Lisanne on March 30, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    As usual, today’s blog post is filled with humor and very thought-provoking. I. AM. WRITER!

    Thanks for the validation.

    One of these days I hope to get a chance to hear you speak.

  7. #13 by proverbs31teen on March 30, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    So good. I know a ton of people who call themselves aspiring writers, and I often used to, as well. What a great reminder. Thanks!

  8. #14 by Thomas Weaver on March 30, 2015 - 12:45 pm

    “Yet, what other profession has to endure this amount of disrespect? No one else has to cough up a tax return or show a profit to prove their job exists.”

    Freelance editors. I’ve even had WRITERS tell me that my job isn’t a real job.

    • #15 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 12:51 pm

      I think anything creative (writers, artists, editors) go through this nonsense. I might be “freelance” but it doesn’t mean I am FREE.

  9. #16 by sorrygnat on March 30, 2015 - 12:49 pm

    Great Post; best to you

  10. #17 by Les Edgerton on March 30, 2015 - 12:56 pm

    Just another GREAT post, Kristen. I had to laugh at the person who proposed you write his story and you split the proceeds. If I had a nickel for every… Anyway. This always reminds me of Richard Brautigan’s brilliant short story, “1/3, 1/3, 1/3.” If you (or your readers) haven’t yet read it, get it immediately. It’s in one of his collections, I forget which. Find it and get it! Don’t be drinking coffee or soda when reading it, though. Stuff will shoot out your nose…

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 1:03 pm

      Your ears must be burning OFF. I blabbed about you all weekend and told every writer to find you and read your books. Still your biggest fan girl! ((HUGS))

  11. #19 by K. L. Romo on March 30, 2015 - 12:56 pm

    Hi Kristen – Thanks for the great post!

    I will even take the argument one step further. Even though I haven’t yet been paid for my writing, I’M STILL A WRITER!!

    I just had this conversation with my grown son the other day. I was talking about my writing, and he (good thing he was 1000 miles away!) unfortunately referred to it as my “hobby.” He argued that it should be referred to as a hobby until I actually made a living from it. NONSENSE!! I said, (actually that’s not quite what I said).

    I AM a writer. It’s not just what I do, it’s WHO I AM! (He still isn’t convinced – somewhat hurtful, but as you said, if you’re not a writer yourself, you usually just don’t get it).

    • #20 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 1:02 pm

      So if I am a new lawyer (who passed the bar) and opened a practice, I am not “REAL” until I have won and been PAID for a case? No one sees the flaw in this logic? I can be a stock broker and lose millions of dollars, but I am still “REAL”?

      • #21 by K. L. Romo on March 30, 2015 - 1:24 pm

        Amen sista!

        And I think in being a writer, there is a deep passion that generally can’t be restrained, even if we wanted to. I don’t think everyone can say that about their profession (even if they might make more money at it). I certainly can’t say that about my “official profession.”

    • #22 by warjna on March 31, 2015 - 12:26 am

      So, if someone makes stuff in their shop out in the garage, and repairs everyone’s fences, and helps out the neighbors when they’re remodeling, they’re not a “REAL” handyman because they don’t get paid except in beer and chicken wings?

      Yeah, right.

      I’ve been unemployed for more than 4 years. Now I get to write! No, I haven’t been published, unless you consider a poem or two in my junior college yearbook. And a couple of songs I wrote that were put on albums for a specialty organization. Paid? No. Except that people all over the world sing my best known song. And when I’m introduced at our events, people know my name, and when they realize who I am I get the “Oh my GOD! I LOVE your song!” And that’s payment enough.

      Yes, I write. I love to write. I can’t NOT write (though I’m having an issue with a new medication, and if this continues I will DIScontinue the meds, because not being able to write is UNACCEPTABLE! I write. I keep writing. And I will keep writing, even if I never get published. Because I can’t NOT write.

      And that makes me a writer.

  12. #23 by Doug Page on March 30, 2015 - 1:03 pm

    Brilliant!

    Doug Page Live Simply. Simply Live. 605-391-5403 dougmasonpage@gmail.com

    >

  13. #24 by maryjocee on March 30, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Now I’m feeling pretty good about being a “writer.” Unfortunately, or thankgodly, I also have a master’s in HR. Go figure!

    I hear you on the writer thing. We’ve all had that awkward, now I feel small, conversation about how much we make at writing. Pulling just about any old job title might work better than the W-word.

    Keep on keeping everyone on point, Kristen!

  14. #25 by coldhandboyack on March 30, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Practicing writer here. Why not? Doctors and lawyers get to talk about their practice.

  15. #26 by Amy Gregory on March 30, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    This came when I needed it most! Thank you so much…. I too have had that googly-eyed question–well yes, I do write, and then the dreaded–like 50 shades… Um well, I call it contemp romance but sure, it’s sorta like that (insert that I too need supervision because here is where I get very sarcastic and ornery!)
    Love love love your blog and I look forward to your posts, thank you so much and hope to meet you in person some day!
    Amy

  16. #27 by christineardigo on March 30, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    You never cease to make me laugh. I almost spit out all my lunch on my co-workers.
    Thanks for all the great advice and laughs over the past 3 years,😛

  17. #30 by Stacey Zink on March 30, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Love this post. Being a “real” writer who has never been paid I love tell people I’m a writer. Of course, their next question is always, “Do you have a published book?” UGH! What to respond?

  18. #31 by Author Mandy White on March 30, 2015 - 1:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Mandy White and commented:
    I think it’s a great strategy to ask people if their job is ‘real’ when I get crap for being a writer.

  19. #32 by K. L. Romo on March 30, 2015 - 1:25 pm

    Reblogged this on K. L. Romo and commented:
    Great (and funny) post by author Kristen Lamb.

  20. #33 by Author Mandy White on March 30, 2015 - 1:26 pm

    I have gotten the “Write my life story” one many times! Complete with the offer to split the profits. I also love how people always refer to my work as a “book” and never “books”, like they can’t fathom that someone could write more than one book and not be rich and famous.
    Great post. Reblogged it.

  21. #34 by Ed Hoornaert on March 30, 2015 - 1:27 pm

    I hear what you’re saying, Kristen, but I’m torn about it. Yes, writers are those who write, and we should be proud of what we do. As Kristen says, it takes guts to write. On the other hand, there’s a very real difference between dabbling and doing. Someone like Tori Scott (comment #5) is a doer, a writer, no matter what her husband’s family thinks. Might it be useful to draw a distinction between her involvement in the craft and a person who is halfway through chapter two of her first book? Yes, absolutely. Using the same label for both people can contribute to someone like Tori not getting the respect she deserves.

    • #35 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 1:39 pm

      My point is why do we feel the need to draw the distinction? No one else feels the need to apologize or add caveats to what they do. I can get a loan to open a business and I AM a small-business owner even if that building isn’t yet finished and I haven’t made a dime. My point is we are too insecure about what we do and we shouldn’t be. And others should think about what they are really doing to us.

      Granted, the conversation can continue and we might reveal that we are still looking for an agent or a publisher, but that’s just chit-chat. This isn’t someone asking me to PROVE my job is real. Make sense?

  22. #36 by alanwjankowski on March 30, 2015 - 1:27 pm

    Yes…without writers the internet would be all pictures of cats…and people’s lunches…now let me go off and write a novel about a soap dish that steals souls…thanks for that idea btw…sounds like a bestseller if I’ve ever heard one…

  23. #37 by Michelle R. Eastman on March 30, 2015 - 1:32 pm

    Thanks for the humorous peek into your world. As an indie children’s picture book author, the interrogation/conversation usually goes like this, “So, why didn’t you try to get a real publisher? Are you making any money? Are you on Amazon? Will you get a real publisher for your next book? I’ve always wanted to write a kids’ book, I mean, how hard can it be?”

  24. #38 by Jon Chaisson on March 30, 2015 - 1:43 pm

    Yeah, I’ve had all those conversations as well. Let’s just say that there’s a point where the Jonc Filter stops working and I’ll answer the “do you make money” question with “Well, someone’s got to come up with all the sh** that’s out there, so it might as well be me.” I’m a born New Englander, so when I get annoyed, I don’t get snippy; I turn into the world’s biggest smartass.😀

    There’s also the fact that I’m quite comfortable in my creative delusions so if they’re concerned about my lack of moneymaking, that’s their issue, not mine. I don’t have the time or the inclination to worry whether or not I’m making more than Mr. HR Dude. If it makes me happy then why worry, amirite?🙂

  25. #39 by Anthony Lee Collins on March 30, 2015 - 1:49 pm

    I get cranky about the “aspiring” thing, too. I correct that right away when it comes up.

    I’m not aspiring to anything other than writing better. That’s something to aspire to.

    I sometimes add that I’ve been writing (and, therefore, a “writer”) since 1970. When I say that, the subtext is usually, “That’s longer than you’ve been alive, isn’t it?”

    As I say, it gets my back up.🙂

  26. #40 by wandama on March 30, 2015 - 1:54 pm

    Fantastic read. Something all writers need to read and practice. Yes it’s a difficult job, and we, as writers, have to respect ourselves first.

  27. #41 by lynettemiriewriter on March 30, 2015 - 2:02 pm

    You hit the nail on the head AGAIN! I work a full-time job to pay the bills. But I am a pre-published (not aspiring) writer who puts in many hours studying, researching, planning and of course, writing my first novel. So as most other writers, I see things a bit skewed. For example, every time I see Post Master spelled as Poast Master, my mind goes off on a tangent. Is the Poast Master kin to the Toast Master if there is such a thing. Then that brings to mind the infamous Thigh Master, and so on and so forth. Just saying.

  28. #42 by newfsull on March 30, 2015 - 2:02 pm

    Where have you been? I have been checking my email daily looking for another fix of Kristen Lamb.
    I’m fine now.
    Oh, can’t comment on the blog. I was so excited I jumped right in with my comments.
    I will go back and read now.

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 2:24 pm

      I missed you guys too! Where I have been? Another blog. Spawn was in the hospital and very ill. He’s fine right now but it was a LONG month.

      • #44 by newfsull on March 30, 2015 - 2:49 pm

        From your many posts, I understand you live a busy life. I can’t help my humor – as my dear wife tells everyone, “Just ignore him.”

  29. #45 by Celia Lewis on March 30, 2015 - 2:06 pm

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. Yup, I am definitely a Pre-Published Writer, a Writer!!
    Will stop mumbling about the novels sitting deep under the bed from now on.
    Cheers from a late-to-writing WRITER!

  30. #46 by Shelby on March 30, 2015 - 2:11 pm

    I love the sarcasm! It makes me laugh. Another good post.

  31. #47 by newfsull on March 30, 2015 - 2:17 pm

    Okay, I caught up to myself. As well as a writer I am a CA and and CPA. The point you make about being a small business person is very apt. The old stat is that a small business will take five years to succeed, and less than 20% will be profitable by that time.

    The struggle for a small business is daunting; yet, I have also found that those who love what they do and persist, beat the odds and make it. Yes, a mix of knowledge, connections, hard work and luck all go into it. But in the end the success story is all about persistence and dedication.

  32. #48 by TymberDalton on March 30, 2015 - 2:21 pm

    Dang it. Now I want to write a story about a possessed soap dish.

    There is a Chinese buffet we eat at (hey, they have sushi and it’s never made me sick…yet…) where on the back of the bathroom door is a sign:

    Please let management know if the bathroom is inconvenienced.
    o_O

    One of these days…

    I found a great camping/survival tool on Amazon, plot-bunnied, and immediately wrote a fellow-writer friend saying, “Hey, wouldn’t THIS make a GREAT weapon for a hit-man?” and knew they wouldn’t report me to…well, some government alphabet-soup organization.

    Ahem.

    Writers write. That’s all it takes to define a person as a “writer.” (I guess getting semantical about “author” versus “writer” is a whole ‘nother blog post.) I’m tired of the shame culture attached to admitting one is a writer.

    • #49 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 30, 2015 - 2:25 pm

      Stop the AUTHOR SHAMING. I dig that. And feel free to write about the soap dish. I’m DYING to know what is so dangerous about it!

  33. #50 by logankeys on March 30, 2015 - 2:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Logan Keys Fiction and commented:
    Gotta love her!

  34. #51 by logankeys on March 30, 2015 - 2:31 pm

    Now having worked with so many, I believe people underestimate the work writers are putting into…their work. SO MANY HOURS. TO sluff that off and say “hobby” is not entirely fair. They have a committed goal, and they work tirelessly at it. That’s a fricken job if any lol

  35. #52 by Melissa Lewicki on March 30, 2015 - 2:33 pm

    As I was getting out of my car on the way to my first Sisters in Crime meeting, a total stranger called across the parking lot: “Are you a writer?” I stopped dead, turned red and felt my heart beat faster. I called back: “Yes!” I had never admitted to anyone that I was a writer. At home, I would leave the living room and say I was going into the study to type a little.
    Thanks for your post.

  36. #53 by sharonhughson on March 30, 2015 - 2:35 pm

    I have only bumped into this “real writer” issue with strangers. Most people ask, “What do you write?” as soon as I tell them I’m a writer. That is a harder question for me to answer because my published work is not in the same genre I spend most of my time writing. “Stories and novels” never seems to be a good enough answer for them. And then I feel like I’m talking WAY beyond their casual interest if I try to explain my published work versus what I’m currently working on.
    Gah! But I dumped aspiring the first time I read a post where you mentioned it. So I will know NOT to raise my hand if I ever take a class from you in person.

  37. #54 by mateekaquinn on March 30, 2015 - 2:40 pm

    Thanks, Kristen! You’ve done it again.

  38. #55 by sharonhughson on March 30, 2015 - 2:42 pm

    Reblogged this on Sharon Lee Hughson's World and commented:
    Yes folks, I’m a “real” writer even though I don’t have the paycheck to prove it.
    Also, just because the IRS will classify my writing as a hobby if I make no profit for three years, that doesn’t make me any less of a writer.
    Writers write. I write. Therefore, I am a writer.

  39. #56 by Sean P Carlin on March 30, 2015 - 2:42 pm

    Writers spend too much time apologizing for their existence and seeking external validation; that energy is better spent mastering craft.

  40. #57 by Rebecca Meyer on March 30, 2015 - 3:00 pm

    This is so great! I completely agree, and you wrote about a writer’s frustrations with such humor.

    I’m still in the process of finding a job in the writing field, so for now I’ve gone in different directions, writing in my free time. But I’m still a writer. It’s always so funny how people react when I say that I like to write. Some people think it’s awesome, and some don’t get it. But writing is so crucial to our world. Without writers, we’d be lost!

  41. #58 by lilapinord on March 30, 2015 - 3:10 pm

    I’m the writer who always gets the comment, “I’ve always wanted to write a book. If I give you the details will you write it for me” Or just tell me how to write my life story.. My true friends ask about my books, inspirations, and even buy one or two for their book clubs or just for their own reading pleasure. I started writing because I enjoy it! period. I do not expect to have a best seller, though that would be nice, or get rich from it. Just the pure joy of being published and having my books “out there”.
    Lila L. Pinord
    Author of three published novels and another on the way.

  42. #59 by theywalkthenight on March 30, 2015 - 3:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Today, You Will Write and commented:
    Check out K Lamb, What Makes a “real” Writer?

  43. #60 by Leah. Morgan on March 30, 2015 - 3:16 pm

    Enjoyed reading this post discovered on a friend’s Facebook page. Especially the bits about the growing mannequins and fierce soap dish. Entertaining perspective on writerly contributions.

  44. #61 by MariaMeadowcroft on March 30, 2015 - 3:28 pm

    Where would the world be without writers? Loved this piece. Thank you, Maria.

  45. #62 by Genevieve on March 30, 2015 - 3:29 pm

    I thought it was just me!!! When I tell people I’m a writer, I’m so used to them looking at me like I’ve just told them I’m a professional cat-lady or a lollipop. And since I’m not very successful yet, I was starting to lose confidence. But I write every day and read about writing and try to meet other writers wherever I can. Thank you, this is just what I needed to read. Respect!

  46. #63 by frenchc1955 on March 30, 2015 - 3:33 pm

    Yes, I, too, am a real writer. I agree with you that we should have no hesitation in saying that. We write because we have to, because we have something to say, a story to tell. Thank you for a great post!

  47. #64 by jorgekafkazar on March 30, 2015 - 3:37 pm

    I was interviewing someone once (see below for details) and asked him, “What do you do for a living?” He responded, “I’m an IRS informant; didn’t you see the sign in the driveway as you came in?”

    He was a character in one of my stories. They say the strangest things. I think if he were someone I’d met in a bar, I’d have ended the conversation right there. But I was pretty sure he was lying, so I continued to ask questions.

  48. #65 by philosophermouseofthehedge on March 30, 2015 - 3:38 pm

    Loaded with giggles. Writers rock

  49. #66 by charlaynedenney on March 30, 2015 - 3:47 pm

    A real writer? Aspiring writer? How many books have you written? Any of them published, by whom? Are you in Barnes and Noble, can I just walk in a pick it up.

    Oh, you’re independent published. Aw, okay, you’ve published your own book. Isn’t that special. A real writer would publish with a publisher of note who can get you into Barnes and Noble.

    Why don’t you market it to a real publisher? You know, like the Fifty Shades lady. She published it but then got it picked up by a real publisher who not only printed her books but got her a movie deal.

    Yes, this is almost verbatim in several conversations I’ve had. I even got bawled out by an acquaintance friend who is working for a small publisher because I didn’t come to her first before jumping out there and publishing it myself. I wasn’t a “real” writer (or a published author) because I did it myself.

    I took a 20 minute session of that, in front of long-time friends who had gathered in my hotel room at a convention. Then, when I did inquire about what genre’s they publish, she told me “most anything but porn, non-fiction, and picture books.”

    I write vampire and angel fiction.

    Oh, but they don’t DO vampire fiction, it’s been done to death.

    And no apology about raking me over the coals all that time when I couldn’t have published with them anyway.

    Sorry chicky babe, I’m a published author and I have two books out, the third is being finished up now. And yes, I published it myself.

  50. #67 by Rubyrare on March 30, 2015 - 4:04 pm

    Thank you Kristen, I really dislike the term ‘aspiring’ – either you do or you don’t… I wonder if it’s a term that published authors came up to make those that aren’t published feel better about themselves or do they feel threatened by the newbies out there!

  51. #68 by malika025 on March 30, 2015 - 4:07 pm

    Good one !! Keep it up !!

  52. #69 by transforminglifenow on March 30, 2015 - 4:26 pm

    I love the comment that I get from …. drum roll please…. my dear, darling husband. “So, when do you think you’ll write a best seller and actually make a sh*t-ton of money?” Because, we all know that it doesn’t count unless you earn a ton of money!😦

  53. #70 by Angie on March 30, 2015 - 4:34 pm

    Totally agree! Let’s hold onto that sass and confidence. Oh, the comments we hear (and cringe as we hear them). Thanks, Kristin, for keeping us sane.

  54. #71 by Angie on March 30, 2015 - 4:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Love, Laughter, and Life and commented:
    Yes. I am a writer. I write.

  55. #72 by Stephanie Scott on March 30, 2015 - 4:53 pm

    A guy in a bar at a romance writers conference actually for real asked me if women write romance to make up for what’s missing in their relationships.

    When this same comment came up again months later, this time online (but also from a guy), I asked, whether mystery writers have a desire to discover personal secrets, or if true crime writers have an inner wish to murder. Makes as much sense.

    I also need supervision.🙂

  56. #73 by kimberleycooperblog on March 30, 2015 - 4:59 pm

    Reblogged this on kimberleycooperblog and commented:
    Love this piece from Kristen Lamb. Ok, with several published and self published short stories and a novella, and a novel-in-the-making, I’m going to take the plunge and call myself a Writer!

  57. #74 by kimberleycooperblog on March 30, 2015 - 5:01 pm

    Love this piece from Kristen Lamb. Ok, with several published and self published short stories and a novella, and a novel-in-the-making, I’m going to take the plunge and call myself a Writer! Reblogged at http://www.kimberleycooperblog.wordpress.com

  58. #75 by Debbie Johansson on March 30, 2015 - 5:21 pm

    Great post Kristen. Just the other day I was asked what I doing now that I have finished my studies, but I just couldn’t say that I’ve been writing. Sadly, there is a stigma, making us feel ashamed of who we are and this is especially hard for those of us who are unpublished. And I love the soap dish – they can be pretty dangerous.😉

  59. #76 by lilapinord on March 30, 2015 - 5:34 pm

    When I tell them what genre I write in and THEN tell them my books are on Amazon, THEN they are impressed. Don’t know why. Maybe because everyone has heard of amazon or buy books there..

  60. #77 by conniecockrell on March 30, 2015 - 6:07 pm

    LOL, it must be my age. When I tell people I’m a writer, the next question is where can they buy my books. Since my sales are pretty slim, they must just be looking me up to see if I’m really there on Amazon, with books for sale. ROTFL! No matter.

  61. #78 by Laura Bowers (WriteRunRejoice) on March 30, 2015 - 6:37 pm

    Another awesome post! For the longest time, I didn’t give myself permission to claim the title of writer even though I’ve sold two books. I still struggle with this at times, but whenever doubt flares its ugly little head, I think of a quote from Jeff Goins: “Believe you already are what you want to be. And then start acting like it.” Thanks for this – I made sure to link back in my own conference recap today!

  62. #79 by Donna Herrera on March 30, 2015 - 6:40 pm

    I think my biggest challenge to date has been convincing my husband that he needs to find his own socks, shoes, shirt, etc. I spend more time taking care of him than I do anything else and it is tiring. I finally gave up the fight this month and devised a calendar for house chores. Everyone gets a job and leaves me alone while I write. I expect there will be bumps in the road, but I’ve made it clear they are on their own to figure out the way around them. I expect a few meals will get burned and replaced with pizza but I will get my second book done. I told them all “Mom is a writer and cannot take care of your chores for you. I’m too busy!” Wish me luck, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need it! Great job at the conference, Kristen, was a pleasure to finally meet you!

  63. #80 by LJ Fleming on March 30, 2015 - 7:06 pm

    Reblogged this on The Community: Living a Young Adult Writer's Life and commented:
    This is a great read! Let’s stop apologizing and admit we are writers!!!

  64. #81 by Linda Koch on March 30, 2015 - 7:09 pm

    I don’t have a book published… heck, I don’t even have one written. But I have a MG WIP, with a great concept and premise, that is slowly coming together. I write almost every day, but it seems lately, more time is spent reading and learning to improve my craft. I tell myself that I am doing the right things, to become a writer. Thank you for reminding me that I am a writer.

  65. #82 by Dave S. Koster on March 30, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    I fall into that category of pre-published writer, and so when someone asks what I do, I tell them Research Analyst. After all, that’s my day job. I write perhaps 2-3 hours a night and take time off here and there to focus on it. As much as I would like writing to be my profession, the reality is that I would be deluding myself to think I could earn much of a living this way. For very many of us, and for more reasons than you could count, becoming a professional writer just isn’t going to be a possibility. If I were to encounter a doctor in the same position, as me, practicing perhaps 1-2 hours a day with no paying clients, then no I wouldn’t call them a doctor, and yes I would ask if they were a real doctor. If I encountered someone identifying themselves as a writer, I would ask them what they write, similar for painter, woodworker or any other creative endeavor.

  66. #83 by ChristineR on March 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm

    Well said, Kristen, and great photos. ‘Pre-published writer’, I like that!

  67. #84 by Sabrena M. Robinson on March 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm

    I totally agree with the aspiring writer thought. I have one book published and working on my second. It’s funny because I’m still learning the industry, reading everything about writing, going to writer’s groups, etc. but I don’t consider myself “aspiring”. I am a writer. I write everyday. Writing is not as easy as people may think. It’s a lot of work. More than just throwing words on paper. At the same time, it’s rewarding work. But definitely work that should be respected. I love this!🙂

  68. #85 by dogleadermysteries on March 30, 2015 - 8:02 pm

    Once I attended a women in business seminar on planning for wealth in retirement. When I said that I made a living as an artist and arts educator, the leader said, “Artists and art teachers don’t care about money.” What a crazy making statement. I cared enough to take paying jobs, 6 days a week for 25 years, not only teaching but mentoring others in my “horse of a different color” profession.

    Now as a writer, I keep quiet or others tell me I should write their story, as if I’m just a hack, a ghost writer, a mindless pair of hands.

    When I tell people I’m Author Support Facilitator for Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, I receive more respectful treatment. People have questions. People have dreams of writing their own book.

    Thanks Kristin for making me smile and laugh.

  69. #86 by gracebranniganauthor on March 30, 2015 - 8:15 pm

    Yeah, I don’t get why people think it’s okay to ask what you earn. I’ve had this happen and I was so taken aback.Where else would people have the oompah to ask such a personal question?!

  70. #87 by Eva Moore on March 30, 2015 - 8:33 pm

    This is incredible. I just wrote a post yesterday about #gratitude for all the things that writing has affirmed for me. I am a newly self-published author struggling through all the quagmire of publicity and marketing that comes with that. Something in the cosmos is out to reinforce me this week! So many random connections that really confirm that I’m headed down a good path. Also, I was a teacher in a former life, and I used to get those questions all the time. “Can you make a living doing that?” “Those who can’t, teach.” “Oh, anyone can do that. I teach my daughter things all the time.” Grrrrrrrrr…..Now that my friends are having kids of course, I get all the “do you think my kid has autism?” questions, as if I’m a licensed psychologist now, too! Anyhow, I’m going to post a link over on my blog. http://www.4evamoore.com. Thanks for the boost this morning!

  71. #88 by Authoress Crystal St.Clair on March 30, 2015 - 8:45 pm

    This made me laugh and it is spot on!

  72. #89 by Deborah Makarios on March 30, 2015 - 9:26 pm

    The next time someone asks me how I make ends meet when I haven’t written a Book I’ve Heard Of yet, I’m going to steal a line from that actor and Real Writer of centuries past, and reply “I eat the air, promise-crammed: you cannot feed capons so.”

  73. #90 by naomimgruer on March 30, 2015 - 9:42 pm

    Thanks for another great post that hit a nerve (and the nerve of some people!). This is definitely a hot button for writers, and artists in general. Some days, its easy to walk with my head held high and say, “I am a writer,” and some days, it’s not. Then, the words swirl inside my head like a song I can’t stop singing…until I write them down.

  74. #91 by David Villalva on March 30, 2015 - 11:30 pm

    Thanks for saying this. While filing taxes last month, I told my CPA about the new writing site I launched. He looked at me, cocked his head and said, “Oh. Do you have a degree for that?”

    What the $%#?

    Anyway, thanks again for writing so frickin openly and honestly with a real point of view. Killer stuff and I’m glad I got dialed in here.

    • #92 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 31, 2015 - 7:56 am

      And yet ANYONE can be an agent. There is no degree for it, no certification, it just IS. “Hey, I’m a literary agent.” Not picking on agents at all, but hey, they work it, why can’t we?

  75. #93 by warjna on March 31, 2015 - 12:51 am

    Yes, I’m a writer. No, I do not “aspire” to be a writer; I write, therefore I am a writer. I even have the t-shirts to prove it!

    I really love my writer t-shirts, but I have a deal with myself: I can only wear my beloved writer t-shirts if I actually wrote the previous day. Keeps me honest. Hey, it works for me! I bought a hoodie sweatshirt this year, bright red, through one of those design-your-own online shops. The front of the sweatshirt says: “My Little Red Writing Hoodie.”

    I wear my t-shirts all the time, and get questions. “Yes, I really write.” “I write SciFi and Fantasy and Steampunk, and poetry and music.” “Yes, some of my poems and music have been published.” I think that’s the one that does it, that I’ve had something published. “Wow, you’re a REAL writer, you’ve been published!” I’ve never been asked where my stuff’s been published, nor have I been asked how much I make. If I did, they’d get the fish-eye because that’s just rude… And if their eyes don’t glaze over I tell them all about NaNoWriMo.

    “Beware of soap dish” made me snark out loud, I love those mistranslations so much–“Do not use for purpose intended” is my favorite.

    Have you ever been driving along, and catch something out of the corner of your eye and gone, “WHAT!!?” Then you look again, and it doesn’t say what you thought it did at all. I tell my friends that one of these days I’ll learn to read, and all the fun will go out of life…

  76. #94 by ugiridharaprasad on March 31, 2015 - 1:02 am

    Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

  77. #95 by Dayle Trice on March 31, 2015 - 2:06 am

    Thoughts is what I believe makes a real writer. Everything or before anything else, it was inside the thoughts of the writer.

  78. #96 by drakes1 on March 31, 2015 - 2:10 am

    Hi Kristen! This is a great post, thank you. I am brand new to writing and am part way through my first psychological thriller. My experience so far having told people that I am writing a book has been a bit of a mixed bag. Frequent comments are ‘oh here we go. Just another phase’ or ‘will it have pictures in?’ – I like that one! Not everyone is taking me seriously. I have been well and truly bitten by the writing bug and I cannot get enough of it. I am extremely serious about making my story come to life and am enjoying it immensely. Even at my very early stage in my writing journey I have found it hard to be taken seriously. I hope I will have the last laugh. Thanks again! Mark

    • #97 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 31, 2015 - 7:54 am

      Just remember, writers WRITE. Other than that? We have to take ourselves seriously because it all begins with US. Keep pressing and happy you are here!

  79. #98 by maryblackhill on March 31, 2015 - 6:16 am

    Loved it! I stopped joining local writers; groups because as far as I could see nobody actually did any writing! They were all aspiring, you see… It’s taken a lot of years before I can finally look people in the eye and say “I’m a writer. I write erotic romance.” The way they take it is up to them. And now I’m just off to post some cat images onto Facebook…… Oh, and buy the way, it’s not the soap-dish you need to beware of, it’s the soap! Do you know what you can do with a bar of soap? Well, of course you do: you’re writers, you have imaginations!

  80. #99 by Nichole McGhie on March 31, 2015 - 7:49 am

    I loved this post! No aspiring here. It’s true too, that when you take the aspiring out and just say you are a writer, you get all kinds of interesting things. I wrote about it and linked to you on my blog. 🙂

  81. #100 by Christine Hendersht on March 31, 2015 - 9:30 am

    Kristen, I received many eye rolls when I told others that I was writing a novel. I didn’t let that response deter me at all. The story was burning inside me and I needed to get it out. And I was determined to make it the best it could be. I am in love with writing, the process of getting ideas from my head onto paper, seeing my characters come to life. I enjoy that process more than I thought possible. I love to edit, and edit and then edit again, which is a good thing because I never get it right the first time. What I dislike (extremely dislike) is everything else: marketing, promoting, selling. Approaching bookstore owners fills me with anxiety and dread. I would have never guessed this about myself. And, as you know, this is a problem, especially since I self published. I did receive a very favorable Kirkus review, which validated, at least for myself, that my work was good. After all, opinions of friends and family, while welcome and very much appreciated, cannot be considered objective. So I’m left with this burning love of writing and very few options to “get my work out there.” I find this very discouraging. And although I’ve started a second novel, and have an idea for a third, self publishing (editing services, a professional cover, etc.) can be very expensive. Since I’m not wealthy, incurring this expense for family and friends to read my work is not financially responsible. I find traditional publishing most intimidating. Query letters, finding agents, the whole thing seems so improbable. And from what I’ve learned at writer’s conferences, publishing houses no longer market for unknown writers. Even if you beat the odds and become traditionally published, you are still responsible for your own marketing. Any thoughts about this?

    • #101 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 31, 2015 - 10:53 am

      Um…buy my book?😀 I wrote all my social media for creative people. My goal is NOT to change you into high-pressure insurance salespeople who also write books. Marketing and promotion (as we traditionally know it) has never sold books and it sells even fewer these days. Traditional marketing and promotion focuses on technology and medium whereas I agree with Faulkner—focus on humans because humans never change. I teach you how to be a tribe-builder, a community-builder. How to produce content in a way that others eventually care and become passionate about word of mouth. And in a world that has learned to unsee ads and does NOT want another coupon, anymore free stuff, or to play reindeer games we must use authenticity and imagination. We must learn to create relationships.

      I like the way the world has gone. NY never spent that much on new writers and new writers had a STAGGERING failure rate because there was NO way to create a brand and a platform outside of the book. Now, with social media and blogging, we are in much more control of our success and are seeing more writers not only make a living, but an excellent living. Writers are doing better today than at any other time in history. So yes, it is work, but anything worth having is. And I have worked very hard to create a method that plays to your strengths, so you will ENJOY doing it. Thus, get Rise of the Machines. If you are unsure about my book, I have almost 900 blogs posted and feel free to peruse the archives. I work very hard to help YOU be successful.

      Thus, this is the long answer. The short is BREATHE. It isn’t as terrifying as you might imagine.

      • #102 by Christine Hendersht on March 31, 2015 - 1:19 pm

        Thanks for your response! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and I enjoy it very much. I will buy, Rise of the Machines, in hope that it will give me some ideas. Short of standing on a street corner saying, “Buy my book!” I’m at a loss as EXACTLY HOW to reach readers. Most advice is very vague and broad. Perhaps I’m an idiot, but I think blogging and social media is so over saturated! Everyone is trying to claim their 15 minutes of fame by writing blogs. Everyone is twitting mindless statements, “Hey listen to me…follow me…I’m so clever!”
        I just want to share my work in to those who might like it. That’s all. I completely agree with the word-of-mouth theory. I think of the ways I pick a book: a friends recommendation goes a long way; I browse bookstores and library shelves; Facebook has reading sights I follow; TV news programs, like GMA, and of course the NYTBSL. I’ve found a few of my favorite authors by just randomly picking their books off the library shelf. I have no access to any of those options other than word of mouth, or standing on a street corner. I did donate my book to my local library, and I’m happy to see it NOT sitting on the shelf. So that’s encouraging. I did approach my local bookstore and I’ve sold a few copies there. But it’s hidden away forlornly on a back shelf, so not much of a chance for sales there.

        I also understand that networking can help. I’ve attended many writing workshops and am a member of a few writers groups. But sadly, I found that most people are only interested in promoting themselves. I’ve found very little help. One example: I met at a author at a conference, who I thought might be encouraging. I read her book and it was similar in genre to mine. I asked if she would read my book and give me her opinion. She agreed. I sent her a copy and I never heard from her. That was disappointing.

        • #103 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 31, 2015 - 3:02 pm

          Just be YOU and relax. My blogs are general because they are BLOGS. The book will walk you through step-by-step to create YOUR brand. And no, please don’t shout to buy your book, LOL. Frankly that’s why so many authors get ignored. Instead of giving value to social media, they take take take and people tune out.

  82. #104 by Glynis Jolly on March 31, 2015 - 10:13 am

    I WAS an aspiring writer but now am an unpublished writer. As soon as I have this 1st draft done, I’ll be calling myself a pre-published writer. It’s a strategy to keep myself motivated. So far it’s working. What kind of idiot thinks that a person CAN’T make a living writing? Is it a case of they don’t know how movies and TV shows are created. Or is it that they never read a newspaper? I know there are morons like this out there. I just get shocked when I stop to ponder on the idea.

    • #105 by K. L. Romo on March 31, 2015 - 11:32 am

      Kristen – Which of your books do you suggest I read first?

    • #106 by Anthony Lee Collins on March 31, 2015 - 1:36 pm

      “Is it a case of they don’t know how movies and TV shows are created. Or is it that they never read a newspaper?”

      Very important point. I have one friend who started writing for TV and movies in 1972, and another who was successful as a newspaper writer and who then started her own small press. Neither has published a novel, yet, but both are definitely writers.

      And there’s also Stan Lee, of Marvel Comics, who started out thinking that someday he’d quit comics and write the Great American Novel. That never happened, of course, but I’d say things worked out okay for him anyway.🙂

  83. #107 by Satin Russell on March 31, 2015 - 11:12 am

    Such a great post! Thank you for the reminder. In fact, yours is the second post I’ve read this week addressing this issue. It’s inspired me to write my own thoughts, as well.

  84. #108 by Carolyn Paul Branch on March 31, 2015 - 5:52 pm

    You always inspire me AND make me laugh. A rare combination! BTW – cat pictures on the internet would be no fun without the snarky comments added by someone who probably doesn’t even know she’s a writer.

  85. #109 by shericonaway on March 31, 2015 - 6:38 pm

    Kristen, I loved this post! I’m one of those writers who is “pre-published” but that doesn’t mean I don’t have several hundred thousand words worth of blog and another couple of hundred thousand in the two novels and a children’s book which are currently in process. Yes, we read, we write, we study writing, we study how to market our work, etc. etc. etc. Your conversation with the bartender reminded me of one I had with a friend at the club where I dance:
    She: Oh, look, that guy is here again, and he just ordered his third beer.
    Me: Hmm, he probably just got dumped by his girlfriend of several years. She left him for a guy she met at the gym. He doesn’t talk to anyone as he’s drowning his sorrows, but he sits right next to the dance floor so he can watch us all dance. He’s trying to decide whether to jump back into the pond again.
    She: You got all that from just watching him sit there drinking beer?
    Me: I’m a writer. It’s what we do.

    Everyone I meet has the potential to influence how a develop a particular character. What could be more fun?

  86. #110 by Susie Murphy on April 1, 2015 - 5:18 am

    This post most certainly hits home for me. Last Friday I told my optometrist I was “trying to be a writer” – and I actually used air quotations. I felt immediately bad about myself, like I had just demeaned all the years of work I have put into my as-yet-unpublished novels. I’ve made a note to myself now: be more confident and reread this blog post whenever I lose courage!

    • #111 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 1, 2015 - 3:10 pm

      We have probably ALL done it. The trick is to be cognizant of WHAT we ARE doing so we can stop. I think often we demean what we do to beat others to the punch. It’s easier if we call ourselves a fake than to hear it from others.

      • #112 by Susie Murphy on April 2, 2015 - 3:03 am

        Yes, well, no more! Full belief in ourselves from here on in. Thanks a million for your encouragement.🙂

  87. #113 by composed on April 1, 2015 - 11:28 am

    Yep, another actual Laugh Out Loud piece to start my morning! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

  88. #114 by Efthalia on April 1, 2015 - 5:43 pm

    Reblogged this on EFTHALIA and commented:
    Insight into what all writers face for their chosen field. We should not have to feel the need to ever apologies for the career we have chosen. Yay Kristen Lamb for nailing it so well!

  89. #115 by georgeampratwum on April 2, 2015 - 5:30 am

    Reblogged this on ghanaian mind and commented:
    Writers

  90. #116 by realnerdworms on April 2, 2015 - 11:16 am

    I totally get this! But I mean really! I’m a writer and a hairdresser. To be a cosmetologist you have to pass a state board exam. I can’t tell you how rudely some people have asked, “So when are YOU going to school?”. Um… I already did. See that license? Yeah, mail order. *eye roll* Then try telling them you’re also a writer. That’s when they start in on, “That’s an awfully nice car for a hairdresser.” Really? You don’t know me! Goodbye! *fuming*

  91. #117 by lonestarjake88 on April 3, 2015 - 9:52 am

    I work for a great company, but when I tell my colleagues that I am a writer, they look at me like I am a wearing a fluffy pink hat. However, one day, I had to ferry something to my supervisor’s boss. I made a comment about the books on her bookshelf (I’m an author write?) She, knowing I’m a writer, asked me what kind of genre I would write.
    I told her my favorites and then said, “I’ve written three so far. The first one is terrible. The second one is fixable. The newest one is publishable.”
    She said, “Well, as soon as it’s out, it’ll be the first one on my reading list.”
    I was like, “Wow, finally!” I thought this, did not say out.

  92. #118 by Louise S on April 5, 2015 - 2:18 am

    But… what was wrong with the soap dish?
    hope you found out. A sign like that would have made me use it

    luv ya Kristen.
    And your blog too😀

  93. #119 by zeecelugo on April 5, 2015 - 7:51 am

    Reblogged this on Zeece's Site and commented:
    How True!

  94. #120 by katkent2014 on April 6, 2015 - 3:39 am

    Reblogged this on writersback and commented:
    I’ve even had people I’ve met at writing conferences come up to me and say that I wasn’t a real writer; that I must be spoiled or something like that to be able to write a book. It’s amazing. They have no idea my life or all the personal time I use to write my books. I try to stay focused and sharp to write the best I can; and I sacrifice alot of personal time. No complaints; other people I meet just aren’t willing to do that.

  95. #121 by Saralyn Richard on April 6, 2015 - 2:14 pm

    You are right on, as usual, Kristen. I’m always impressed when a successful writer is also a successful speaker, and you seem to be gifted in both. Thanks for your positive and upbeat blogs that make so many of us feel inspired. I’ve been a REAL writer since I was a child, but my writing was derailed for a lot of years while I worked hard at another profession. I consider that not as wasted time, but as experience-gathering time. Now I can write about it.

    Wishing you the best always.

  96. #122 by Deidre Dykes on April 6, 2015 - 2:20 pm

    I was lucky enough to attend the Write Stuff and spend time with Kristen! Your words were so inspirational and motivating. Thank you!!

  97. #123 by PublishToday on April 7, 2015 - 3:39 am

    A real writer is made of his/her writings. Writing is the life of a real writer.

  98. #124 by Nicole E. Vik on April 7, 2015 - 9:42 am

    I just started my blog, mostly because my mother encouraged me to. Beforehand I told her my excuse for not doing it sooner was because I’m not a real writer she looked at me and said “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say.” It turns out Mom was right yet again. As desperately as I would like something I’ve written to get published it does not make me less of a writer because I haven’t been published yet. If you have no conviction or you don’t believe in the things you have to say no one is ever going to listen.

  99. #126 by married2arod on April 7, 2015 - 10:35 am

    So I’m totally late for the March contest but this was just on twitter #NonWritersSay and people tweeted exactly the same things you said. I understand this more than anyone, also being an actor, it’s annoying when people start asking what you’ve been in, “good, luck with that” etc. Being an artist of any form is extremely hard work. Even as a new writer (I’ve only put true effort as a career the past 2-3 years) I don’t think I’ve ever used the word aspiring. Thanks for the post, so inspiring! I will be sure to reblog!

  100. #127 by married2arod on April 7, 2015 - 10:41 am

    Reblogged this on Romance Done Write and commented:
    With #NonWritersSay trending last night, this blog post couldn’t have fallen into my lap at a better time. Like all artists, writers, actors, painters, etc people don’t take you seriously if you’re not the next Tom Cruise or Veronica Roth. For whatever reason, not being able to take the leap and follow their own dreams or they don’t understand, people can be jerks and say things that make you doubtful or sound just plain stupid. Because unlike any other job like a doctor or lawyer there is not clear cut way of succeeding in the arts. We can “make it” in five years or thirty. So embrace your art and be.

  101. #128 by perfectlyimperfect05 on April 7, 2015 - 1:09 pm

    I don’t know who’s validation I needed, but most recently I made this change in my thinking. I kept saying I want to be a writer, it’s in my DNA, and it makes me who I am. I need it! Well, I am a writer, so there!🙂 Thanks for your wonderful post!

  102. #129 by mscassiopeia on April 7, 2015 - 3:05 pm

    What a great post! I’m researching to write a paper about the writing profession and the treatment we get from everyone.

    I don’t understand, but I believe that it is a learned belief about writers. I don’t know who taught my grandmother or my family, but they scoff at me for being a writer.

    Doesn’t matter, but things are going to change for us writers. They’re going to respect and they’re going to regret underestimating us.

  103. #130 by Catherine Bybee on April 8, 2015 - 9:28 am

    HR isn’t really a job… Just sayin’.
    Great post. No need to hat my name.

  104. #131 by ddominikwickles on April 10, 2015 - 7:38 pm

    I am currently halfway through your book. Very helpful! Too bad I missed you in Pennsylvania😦

  105. #132 by Doug Page on May 29, 2015 - 1:54 pm

    Brilliant!Doug Page Live Simply. Simply Live.605-391-5403dougmasonpage@gmail.com

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