To Call Thyself a Writer

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December 2, 2021

When I was working as an engineer, I had no trouble telling people, “I am an engineer.” I didn’t bother much about my track record as a successful engineer. I didn’t feel the necessity to have done some awesome projects or innovations. But, when I turned to full-time writing, I came across an existential crisis. When people asked me what I was, I didn’t dare say “I am a writer.”

I was afraid of the questions that followed. “Oh, what are your books?” “I am not sure if I have read any of your work.” “Writer, is it a job?” So, I avoided saying the words “I am a writer.” I often feel that you need to have successful track record to call yourself a writer. So, I dodge these questions with “I am experimenting some writing,” “I am taking a break,” “I am writing some technology blogs” Over the past 3 years, this existential crisis has been a part of my life.

I think every writer goes through it. At what point you start calling yourself a writer? Just writing is enough to call yourself a writer? Why do we writers feel embarrassed or scared to tell the world that we are writers? What kind of success will give the passport to become a ‘writer?’

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