IWSG: So, you write novels, eh?

Yes, yes I do.

I mean, okay, I don't shout it from the rooftops or have a personalized license plate or anything, but the subject comes up in conversation from time to time. Someone will ask, "What do you do in your spare time?" Or, "Do you work while your kids are at school?" I used to avoid saying I was a writer. Something about it just felt kooky. I mean, I don't have a creative writing degree. I didn't major in English. I don't work within the publishing industry. I kind of felt like, who am I to write novels?

But, I'm over that now. I own it.

I write. I'm not all that bad. And I love it.

Inevitably, the follow up question is, "Have you written anything I might have read?"

No, no I haven't.

That's a hard one to answer because it brings up those old feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. I used to go into the whole shebang, "Well, I'm working on it." "It's a really long process." "I have an agent and have a couple projects out with publishers." All true, but I'm tired of justifying what I do and why I do it. And really, I'm justifying it to myself more than anything because that person who's asking probably isn't looking for all that anyway.

I've changed the long rambling response to, "Not yet."


To the point.


Because I know all of the ins and outs and don't need to stumble and bumble over them to make myself seem worthy.

The fact I love what I do is enough to keep doing it. To own it. No justifications or excuses needed.

panorama ephemera rick prelinger gif

How about you? How do you answer the dreaded, "What do you do?" question?

 *Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting IWSG - a monthly blog hop where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!*

*Gifs courtesy of Tumblr and WiffleGif


  1. Yes!! You are a writer, no matter where you're at. Keep it up! :)

  2. Great post, as always. You already know I totally get this. :)

  3. Oh, yeah! When I tell people I'm a travel writer, they often go, "Have you been published in Travel & Leisure?" as if that's the only publication out there.

    I forget where I read this, but one writer said that when people asked if he'd written anything they would know, he would reply with things like, "Oh, so you're an architect. Have you built anything I've heard of?" and so forth.

    Anyway, I popped by after finding you on Twitter in the #IWSG column. This is my first time out with the group. Happy writing to you! :D

    1. Ha! I'm definitely going to put that one to use. "Oh? You're a gynecologist? Have you..."

      Thanks so much for stopping by Tui!

  4. I don't talk about it. Like at all. I'm waaaay too shy lol
    Like you, though, I do love what I do. I just have to add the "no justifications or excuses" needed into my brain. Great post! :D

    S.K.Anthony: IWSG

    1. Thanks S.K. It took me some time and lots of trial and error, but I'm mostly there.

  5. I totally get what you're feeling. I have the same anxiety and self-doubts. People don't realize how competitive it is to get published--heck, I didn't even know until I started my writing journey. It takes so much discipline to complete a novel, only to face rejection after rejection--I say props to all writers out there going after their dreams.

    Thanks for being a Query Kombat judge, btw!

  6. I have this problem too. I have one book that's not out yet, but it's nonfiction, and what I really want is a fiction deal. People generally don't know how the process works--nothing about agents and getting full manuscript requests from publishers--so even though I'm closer than many authors ever get to getting that elusive book deal, my answer is still "No, not yet." And the immediate judgment that takes over in their interaction with me from that point indicates that they've sorted me into "wannabe author" in their minds. It's kinda infuriating. But what can ya do?

  7. What do you know, exactly me too... But you're right, your answer's great, and true, mind if I use it too? Found you on Jerry's, glad I came by.