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All Things Writing & Publishing > Do you introduce yourself as writers?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Unfortunately unless you are happily retired, born prince or princess or married to one, very few can afford writing as a prime occupation. But do you present yourself as writers (as a first choice), when you meet people or go by first profession? Do you have 'writer' business cards?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I only have one title under my belt so far so it's 'I'm Tara. I wrote a book'. With more titles it will be 'I'm Tara. I'm a writer/author". The amount of income you make from writing has nothing to do with it.


message 3: by G.L. (new)

G.L. Wilson | 3 comments I've been writing on and off for years. I've have had agents (for theatre and books) and still would't introduce myself as a writer. For staters people always ask, have you written anything I know? I haven't. And invariably, once it turns out that you're not Ian McEwan, people glance at you sideways as if you're a fantasist, a person to be avoided at all costs. There reasoning being? Anyone can call themselves a writer but people who do so might just be attention seeking.
However, that said, of course I'm a writer. It's the thing I always come back to. It's something i've worked at for years. It's rewarding, frustrating, challenging but, most importantly, essential to me.
So, I never bother saying I'm a writer, although ironically a lot of people know that I am and they actually seek me out and ask me about the writing!


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Yeah, I also don't actively mention writing unless addressed in that context, so the clients won't think I lost my marbles and I feel a little bit of recognition is still desirable in order not to explain at length what exactly you've written... -:)


message 5: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1022 comments I'm extremely new to this so I don't even think about telling people it's what I do :). It is my secret identity for now...


message 6: by Kat (new)

Kat I haven't published anything yet, so I feel I'm not quite entitled to claim to be an author. But I also don't mention my writing either, because I'm slow, and I hate people asking me how the book is coming along after I've just scrapped a whole chapter.

However, once the book is 'out there' I might admit to being an author if the topic happens to come up. And I would be proud of it, I think. But I would not present myself as an author on business cards or similar, because I still have a dayjob that defines me far more, and I don't see me quitting that anytime in the forseeable future.


message 7: by Matthew (last edited Jul 19, 2016 06:00AM) (new)

Matthew Once you've released a book, you're an author. If you write, then you're a writer.

Yes, we have our day jobs, so I work in payroll, but I class myself as an author and a writer. Even though it's a hobby, it's what I do.

If you go running, you're a runner or a jogger, if you ski, even at indoor slopes you'd say I'm a ski-er or a snowboarder. I say tell people you're a writer and if you have work released, don't be shy to admit you're an author.

I know people who smirk when I say my books are called The Bumpkinton Tales, but I've written books and released them on Kindle and in paperback, which is more than those who smirk have done.

I'm proud to say I'm a writer and an author, so don't worry what people think or say. Be proud, because you're brilliant! :D


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I'm with Matthew. Even with my nonexistent status as a success story people are quite curious and impressed when they realize I have published. Invariably, they begin to tell me of projects they have always dreamed of writing and I realize that i have done something so simple but that others only daydream about and I am proud. Also, several interesting doors have opened for me because someone realized I am an author.

I once told a friend of mine that she should casually drop the fact that she is an author into conversations. She did and began to carry her book around with her. While having lunch with her daughters the waitress saw the book lying on the table and recognized the cover. It turns out her husband works at a Barnes and Nobles store and is responsible for new titles. She saw the book cover on one of his printouts and remembered it. So my friend gifted the waitress the book and autographed it at her request. Everyone in the restaurant looked on with great interest. My friend felt like an absolute New York Times bestseller!


message 9: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1022 comments Great story, Tara!! :)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Thanks Marie - and that happened to her on Mother's Day :)


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Indeed!

I'm for even much more than 'casually drop' being an author, just won't mention it the second thing I meet someone-:)
I'm not sure Obama, goes 'hey, I'm the president', if somebody doesn't recognize him (when he's dancing with Michelle in some NY pub) -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Love the visual!


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) Marie wrote: "I'm extremely new to this so I don't even think about telling people it's what I do :). It is my secret identity for now..."

LOL! I thought I was the only one who hasn't told anyone outside GR and Hubby that I'm writing a book.

We are all so many things... a mom, dad, friend, teacher, cook, caretaker, cleaner, gardener, driver, writer... Not any word defines us. My preoccupation is writing and my goal is to be a self-published author. : )


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Even a hubby can be one person too many -:)


message 15: by Annie (last edited Jul 19, 2016 10:59AM) (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) I tell people. Of course, I tend to tell people whatever they wanna know. It's not like, "Oooh, look at me, I'm a legit author. Bow down before my greatness." *eye roll* Hmm. More like, "Yeah, I wrote a book." *shrugs*

It's pretty natural. I mean, it's no different than telling people about other stuff I enjoy: skeet shotting, fitness competitions, copious amounts of anime, eating food *smirks* All same-same, in my books. Just me though.

Hugs,
Ann


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments I am afraid I present myself as a scientist who writes. Of course na quarter of my ebook output is actually scientific.


message 17: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 52 comments I never introduce myself as a writer, despite writing not just books, but also film reviews on Facebook and IMDb (as a hobby, and not without criticism from peers), and book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

There are two kinds of people in this world when it comes to those who know I write: those who want to know more because "I'm talented," and those who give me a deer-in-the-headlights stare when I mention I've come up with something new--mainly because the latter automatically assumes it's another dark, violent, twisted tale of some sort. Quite a few friends and family members judge me and my personality for my concepts, so I don't talk about it much to people outside of my 'close circle of friends and, like, four family members' (and even then, there are exceptions, depending on the content I'm describing).

As for strangers, I never introduce myself as a writer because it feels weird. I'm almost 21, and as of this writing, I'm broke, with very little in my possession, and currently unemployed. So of course, when I say I'm a writer, people ask "Have you been selling?" "How much do you make a month?" or whatever. And then their next question is always "What kind of books?" or "What do you write about?"

Now refer to the second paragraph of this post.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Alexander wrote: "I never introduce myself as a writer, despite writing not just books, but also film reviews on Facebook and IMDb (as a hobby, and not without criticism from peers), and book reviews on Amazon and G..."

sorry, to hear that, man.

if you could connect w/other nice writers w/similar genre interests in your local area that might help.

i never introduce myself as a fiction writer; i always say a tech writer--that's my day job, but i usually avoid talking about work stuff--it can be such a bore. i actually like finding out what they do and their hobbies--good source material.

many people are receptive when i say that i'm writing fiction. although one of my coworkers was surprised that i was writing horror--not out of distaste but out of curiosity. my boss and a software engineer i work with both did nanowrimo. i actually started writing the horror short b/c two of my coworkers were into The Walking Dead and they had written a smartwatch app, so i said i'd include their app in my story--hey, free product placement, right?

2 good friends of mine--one is an aspiring script writer and the other is a published romance novelist--and i have an artists soirée every 2-3 months.

back in april, i had 11 people--not all writers--over to my place for my first luncheon and reading. one read his steampunk (great dialogue), i read my horror, and another read her PNR (very polished). i'll probably do another one. i was thinking this summer but i might not get around it until the fall.


message 19: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Yes I do. It is by far the best form of marketing. I say I write in the morning and do a part time thing in the afternoon to top up the bank account. Invariably people say: "Oh really. What do you write?" If they are really interested I might give them a free hardback copy of In Sights and inside that book there is a leaflet informing them of my novels.


message 20: by M.L. (last edited Jul 20, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

M.L. I started publishing at work so the fact that I'm a writer was known without me doing anything to publicize the fact. I didn't think anything about it. Sometimes I would be introduced that way but I never made a big deal out of it. It's 'normal' for me, it's just what I do.


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments I'm a Haus Frau, but if someone asks if I work, I tell them I'm a self-published author. It's to the point, avoiding all the crazy questions. I can't bring myself to say I am a writer. I don't know, it seems so trivial to me because that's how most people perceive it.

Them: Do you work?
Me: I'm a writer.
Them: Like you write in a journal.
Me: No, like I've written and published novels.
Them: You must be rich.
Me: I am in my own imaginary world.


message 22: by Yelena (new)

Yelena Lugin (ylugin) | 35 comments Lol @Denise

I use writing as a hobby that I wish I could te away with as my full time job but no such luck yet.


message 23: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Yelena wrote: "Lol @Denise

I use writing as a hobby that I wish I could te away with as my full time job but no such luck yet."


Yet is right. Plans don't always work out the way you think. Back in the States, I used to have a full-time job as a LAN Administrator. I fell in love with a German, and we decided to make a life in Germany. Now I do have the opportunity to write full-time. Go figure.


message 24: by Yelena (new)

Yelena Lugin (ylugin) | 35 comments That sounds lovely. How is life I'm Germany??


message 25: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Yelena wrote: "That sounds lovely. How is life I'm Germany??"

It's really nice. Very different from Chicago. I spend most of my time with my husband, so branching out and learning the language has been difficult. Aside from that, we enjoy our travels, which are cheaper when you're in Europe. I'm looking forward to what the future brings.

Your profile is interesting. Have you been back to Belarus? When my husband and I traveled to Lithuania, we met a woman from there, whose family moved to Minnesota. She visits yearly.

I clicked on your website, but received a message stating problem loading page. I'll try it again later.


message 26: by Yelena (new)

Yelena Lugin (ylugin) | 35 comments Denise wrote:
It's really nice. Very different from Chicago. I spend most of my time with my husband, so branching out and learning the language has..."


Thats amazing. Have you been to Switzerland? Its one of the top places I want to visit next.

I went back to Belarus when I was 16. I wish I could go back more often, I wanted to a few years ago but my parents strongly encouraged me not to because of the riots and things that were happening with upcoming elections and things.

My grandmother used to teach the German language in Belarus. But all I know how to say is good morning and good day.

The website works for me. http://yelenalugin.com/ I dont know maybe there are some updates I need to do with it, I can try later.

When you write, do you take things from the world your in? Like the German culture or cities and things? It must be pretty amazing.


message 27: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Yelena wrote: "Denise wrote:
It's really nice. Very different from Chicago. I spend most of my time with my husband, so branching out and learning the language has..."

Thats amazing. Have you been to Switzerlan..."


We drove through the Alps in Switzerland, but we didn't stay overnight. Simply Beautiful!

I don't blame your parents about encouraging you not to go. There are some places in Europe that I don't care to visit right now. We'll wait and hope they get better.

That's cool that your grandmother taught German. Very nice. I love hearing stories like that, especially someone teaching something different from their own culture.

Okay, the link you just provided is working for me. Nice site! I added it to my blog list, and will check in regarding blog posts and such.

Yes, some of my writings do absorb the places I live(d). My first book, Net Switch, takes place in Chicago, but also Seattle, even though I've never been there. Fogged Up Fairy Tale is set in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, two places I haven't visited yet.

I'm working on a crime mystery series. The first book, Shadow of Madness, is set in Chicago and the second, Shadow of Perdition, is located in Germany. The second one is slowing me down because of the research. Once I write the first draft, I'll give it to my husband to check German words and places.

I see you write fantasy. Congrats on your doctoral degree. I'm impressed. When it comes to writing about fantasy worlds, where do you get your inspiration from? I always wondered how fantasy and sci-fi writers come up with something that isn't real... or maybe a little bit is real.


message 28: by Joan (new)

Joan Carney | 12 comments Tara wrote: "I'm with Matthew. Even with my nonexistent status as a success story people are quite curious and impressed when they realize I have published. Invariably, they begin to tell me of projects they ha..."

You rock, Tara!


message 29: by Yelena (new)

Yelena Lugin (ylugin) | 35 comments Oooh crime mystery sounds exciting! Is it a murder? Missing persons? Money heist?

And I'm not totally sure where I pull from. I have always had quite the imagination as a child. I was an only child and so had only my brain to entertain me a lot of the times.
My first story I ever wrote began from a cool dream. That was then very heavily developed into a book.

My second book, in the Crossfire, was just a small random idea. I didn't know what I was really getting into until I began writing it and the story sort of just unfolded. It's by far my favorite :) I think it's a great young adult read!


message 30: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Yelena wrote: "Oooh crime mystery sounds exciting! Is it a murder? Missing persons? Money heist?"

MURDER! MWAHAHAHA! I'm in an exclamation kind of mood.


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments What about you? -:)


message 32: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Since I use a pseudonym on my Books, I don't present myself as a writer. And since I've been retired, and if asked what I do, I say I write stories. My wife says, stories that nobody wants to read. AND that is the end of the conversation.


message 33: by Rae (new)

Rae Louise (raelouiseauthor) | 14 comments I'd never introduce myself as a writer, or anything else for that matter - unless it was the subject of the conversation. Generally people will ask if they want to know more about you and that's when I'll mention it. I always worry that they'll automatically think I'm trying to sell them something, which isn't true at all. I'd much rather they got to know me as a person first, and if my work appeals to them then that's just a bonus. If not, at least I've made a friend!


message 34: by Tiara (new)

Tiara Giles (tiaragiles) | 4 comments Nope. I've said "I want to be a writer" before though.


message 35: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Are you primarily a writer? -:)


message 36: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 17 comments I’m on the same page as Rae. I don’t introduce myself as a writer, but if I’m asked what I do, I’ll tell them that I write among other things. Writing is still a part time thing for me.


message 37: by Nik (last edited Nov 29, 2019 10:32AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments So, do you mention being a writer as a prime thing when you describe what you do?


message 38: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 1 comments Been crossing over the line a few times. I'm an IT guy who writes to I'm a writer who does IT for a living. would love to transition to I'm a writer who sells books for a living.


message 39: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) I usually mention that I'm an author and poet.


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments Has anyone else come out of the main profession's closet? :)


message 41: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I usually say I'm a physiotherapist who writes in her spare time. Then I get asked if I write textbooks for physios.

At which point I explain that I write Scifi and Fantasy.


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15743 comments So, who's audacious enough to boast being a writer when meeting someone for the first time? :)


message 43: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2280 comments Not me. The stuff I'm doing now is under a pen name I'm keeping isolated and that entity has been semi-successful. 8 titles hit #1 across three categories, 12 were #1 new Releases in their categories. I had 2 hit #1 across 4 different categories in Mexico. 1 hit 85 in the root category in Australia. And that's just what I've seen...I should pay closer attention in the other marketplaces, because France is actually my second largest audience.

...But I won't admit to being that person. I try to keep the pen names and online identities compartmentalized from each other, so it's been my big secret. Kind of like how I like to claim Days of Our Lives stole ideas from another identity some years back when I was writing a throw-away serial on a major message board. I won't share which board or which story or what my username is/was :D


message 44: by Jim (last edited Jul 24, 2021 09:27AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 168 comments When introducing themselves to a new acquaintance, established protocol suggests people should merely introduce themselves. Announcing their occupation, hobbies, or other personal information is neither necessary nor appropriate. That becomes appropriate if and when the subject matter comes up during future conversations.


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments Not me, but then again apart from to new members of a local writers group I haven't been formally introduced to anyone new since Covid struck. Before that the only new people I can recall meeting were at scientific conferences, which in turn meant my scientific role alone was relevant. In general, I think my interests in the reason why we are meeting is the only thing that gets discussed. Thus, yes, I am introduced as a writer in my writer's group, but why else would I be there?


message 46: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6034 comments That seems a sensible approach, Jim.


message 47: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3568 comments So let me ask this question. Do you see yourselves as writers or people that write? For those of you that have had sales (no matter how small) do you see yourselves as professional writers?


message 48: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2280 comments I would say writer, but that's probably not accurate. If you're an indie trying to make money out of it, it is almost impossible for the average writer to get enough attention these days to make a decent amount from books alone. You have to branch out and think about ways to monetize your content in ways you wouldn't have considered a few years ago.

So, I run a Patreon page. For a monthly pledge, my fans get access to my current WIP as I'm creating it, and they're given a copy of the final version two weeks before it goes on Amazon - so they don't have to go to Amazon to buy it. I also have a handful of books and short stories that are only available to patrons on Patreon - books they won't find on Amazon.

I have a Youtube page. Whenever I'm in the mood, I'll record my screen during a work session and talk over it. It's part how-to, part discussion on the WIP, and part random ramblings. It's unscripted, it's unrehearsed, often I get distracted with what I'm doing, so they're probably not the most interesting things to watch, but for the true die-hard fan, they offer a glimpse into my process. And I have pointed a couple out when I've had random people ask for advice. These are actually great content to add to your Patreon offerings. "Become a patron and see how I work." Writers can also use the concept to record a "reading" of their book.

Deviantart might be one site a lot of writers quickly dismiss, but it has its possibilities. Something you don't think about, a lot of writers are also artists, creating images usually for themselves, but also for their book covers. That artwork can be posted to DA, and it can be monetized in a number of different ways. Oddly enough, you can upload your books and sell them over there. I do 3-D work, so I've uploaded a few models I created myself, giving them away to draw attention to my page and hence my work. Images I created for larger projects are available to anyone who might want to incorporate them into their own, larger project. For me, DA is more a means to advertise and spread my image, but there are tons of ways to monetize your work there that a writer might not realize.

Some of the things that haven't been so big for me, but I've tried them, done them anyway: like i said, I do some 3D work, creating some of my own models. A few I thought were good enough I've polished them up and put them up for sale on a marketplace devoted to selling 3D models (these are different from the ones I put on DA). I don't make a lot and I don't have a huge catalog, but I'll usually get 1-3 sales a month. And these are assets created to support my books...like an image you might use on your cover or a print you might place within your book.

NFTs: non fungible tokens. I admit I spent a week creating NFTs on one site focused around my books "Now you can get my book...in NFT form!" Unfortunately for me, my timing coincided with Elon Musk's decision to kill Bitcoin. The NFT marketplace dived with cryptocurrencies, and the easy-money aspect of it went out the window...but, I still believe there's a way to make it work as an additional revenue stream from your work if you're willing to get creative with it.

So I consider myself a writer, but I've branched out to the point that Amazon is no longer my biggest revenue stream.


message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments I don't think it matters that much what I call myself. While I write ande publish, also accept that I shall not make much money out of it. I have yet to find any promotional trick that yields more than it costs, and while most years I pay tax on my literary efforts, this depends on the occasional year where the deductions are covered by other income. So while I consider myself a writer, I do not consider myself a success at marketing and selling the output. On the other hand, I don't really care. I never set out to make large amounts of cash from it, which is just as well.

I also consider myself a composer of music, even if I am the only person who ever plays any of it. The fact I have no idea whatsoever how to publish it and make anything from it does not affect the emotional responses I get from doing it.


message 50: by Jim (last edited Jul 30, 2021 12:36PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 168 comments Today, anyone with a personal computer and internet access can publish their work and technically claim the title of professional author.

Unfortunately, as with any former profession that has become accessible to the masses and is no longer susceptable to established specific requirements and qualifications, it ceases to be recognized as a true profession by many.

It might be better and be more meaningful to wait until others readily and enthusiatically recognize and consistently refer to someone as a 'writer' before they themselves begin to do so on a regular basis during routine, casual introductions.


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