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Erasing a Stigma

June 20, 2011

People think of writers as free spirits who get struck by a Muse and are consumed with writing to the neglect of all else. And conversely who, when not struck by the Muse, don't work for days and weeks at a time. I have always found this perception a little offensive. I'm not sure where people got it in their heads that writers were this way. Perhaps because most people "can't make a real living writing". Many writers have believed this myth and so they only work on writing in their free time.

 

Or perhaps it is because there are so many people who fancy themselves writers because they clacked away at the computer for a few days and created an alternate reality based on something they saw on Star Trek. Yes, writing is a funny game, because unlike say... a doctor, anyone can say they are a writer. There are no credentials required for people to believe you.

 

And so any person with even a remote sense of interest in story telling becomes a "writer" and all those people who have no aspiration beyond the idea of being famous get lumped in with those of us who are serious about writing. And unfortunately those who want to be famous tend to get a little more attention than us studious types who are too busy working on our next project to brag about being a writer.

 

But it is time that those of us who are serious writers stand up and let people know who we are. We are committed to our work as much as any part-time job. We devote time and energy, not just sit and twiddle our thumbs for a little free time. We need to produce good content, not re-hashed predictable stories and we need to treat what we do with pride, not hide it in a closet.

 

We need to show the world that writers are very serious people and that we work just as hard, if not harder than other people in "real" jobs. I took the leap almost a year ago to work from home. It has been a tumultuous journey. I have a spoon in a half dozen different pots and I work an average of fifty hours a week on writing, editing, crafting and marketing my work. I have pushed myself far beyond any "real" job I have ever had and I have made some amazing progress. I am proud to call myself a writer. I can point to articles I have published and I can say "Look writers do work hard!"

 

So if you work hard honing and crafting your skill. If you are proud to be a writer and can help change that stigma about writers, tell someone this week. Someone from your church, someone that you are just casual friends with, someone you barely know. Show them that writers do work hard and that we are professionals. Help erase the stigma!

 

Share here in our comments section and let people know what you are doing that makes you a writer!

 

Until next time, 

 

Keep Writing!

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© 2013 MEGAN ELLIOTT