As my writing career has begun to shift lately I’ve been amazed at how my titles have also changed. It wasn’t so long ago that my only claim to fame was once being a pre-school teacher and my fans were really just 2 year olds who loved my monster noises and snack time. I have always thought of myself as a writer, but it wasn’t until last year that my writing started to take off and I began actually receiving paychecks for my efforts.
Somehow once I received a paycheck for what I have given away my whole life changed how I saw myself. I felt a strange sense of pride and ownership of the title writer.
Since then I’ve also enjoyed other titles bestowed upon me like Content Writer, Thought Creator, Creative Specialist, and Blogger. All titles I love to wear proudly on my imaginary nametag that I wear to work every morning.
But saying it out loud took me a while. I used to shy away and revert back to “Homemaker” to avoid questions I wasn’t prepared to answer.
Recently I heard myself telling a young woman that I am a writer only to hear her almost scream and giggle in delight and flood me with a dozen questions.
What do you write?
Do you have a blog?
What’s your Twitter handle?
Can I follow you?
I looked around to see that other people in the coffee shop had suddenly stopped sipping and started listening. The spotlight was on me and truthfully, I was both ready to run and ready to take the stage. As an introvert, I am a GREAT writer because I don’t mind locking myself in my office for weeks. But ask me a direct question or several and I am ready to say anything as I look for the exit. However, this was also a moment where I wanted to shine and have a moment to be proud of the hard work I put in.
I am a travel and food blogger, and I write for several websites as well as my own Dancing with Fireflies.
I am new to Twitter, but my handle is @MorningTempest and I would love it if you would follow me. Twitter is a great space but I could use some friends.
Then all at once, I had people reaching for their cell phones, pieces of paper, and my fans were no longer toddlers, but actual readers.
I recently signed up for a blogging conference and on the forms there were spaces to list your credentials, links, and your title. It was this intense moment when I started listing the places I write for, my links and my titles that it really hit me that I stopped writing as a hobby to keep track of my life and became authentic.
My favorite story, The Velveteen Rabbit, talked about the value of what is real and what is pretend. The power of being real, owning the dream that you are working to create and living it. I have always dreamed of being a writer, not because I can tell a good story, but because I have stories lined up to be told. I don’t write because I can, I write because if I don’t then I don’t feel real.
Sure, like everyone I both love my job and procrastinate doing it. But I also have a drive to write that wakes me up at night and keeps me entertained with possibilities.
I am a writer.
So what is your title? Are you an artist, singer, photographer, ect? Do you fear the sound of your title or do you use it out loud and proud?