Mistake 68: Not Respecting Yourself as a Writer

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from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: Some people almost seem apologetic when they say they’re writers. Especially if they’re not yet published. If you don’t respect yourself as a writer, who will?

The solution:
Writing is a strange job. Most of the time we’re sitting around, staring off into space. If someone wanders by, he thinks we’re doing nothing. I’ve held several different jobs, including being an A-Team leader in the Special Forces, and I can say that writing is overall more intense than any them because it is self-generated. There really isn’t an outside pressure. The only downtime I get as a writer is when I make a decision to have down time.

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Still, even after hitting the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly best-sellers lists, I get sort of a blank stare when I tell people I’m a writer. They ask my name, and then comes the inevitable response: “Never heard of you.”

Many people don’t think it’s that hard to be a writer. They see a book that they can read in a couple of hours and figure it can’t have been that difficult to knock out. They don’t understand it takes a year or more of bleeding onto the page to create it.

If you write, you’re a writer. To a certain degree, being published is a matter of luck, so don’t let that get you down. Call yourself a writer and respect yourself.