I’m Sorry, What Do You Do, Again?

Editor’s note: this is a guest post by BrownEyed of Of Parchment and Inks.

Last evening, I went to a house-warming party. There were about 30 people in my friends’ new house, and they had managed everything quite wonderfully. Since I saw most of the invitees for the first time, I offered a smile anytime someone new passed by me. One of the ladies came and stood next to me, holding a drink in one hand, and tossed a conversation, “Hey, I love your dress. I am P by the way. And you are BrownEyed, right?”

“Thank you. Yes, that’s right. Glad to meet you, P.”

“I have heard about you from M. You two live nearby, isn’t it? And I really love that hair of yours too!”

“Thank you.” I smile sheepishly at the compliment.

“So, BrownEyed, what do you do?” She gets to the point now.

“Oh, I write.”


“I am a writer. I write from home, as in a freelance writer.” I affirm.

“Great! What do you write?”

“A lot of things, mostly non-fiction, but I am not limited to any particular thing. I am in process of ghost-writing a book for now.”

“WOW! That must be great. My husband, N, loves to write. He is writing a book about racism attacks.”

“Great. I’d like to meet him sometime.”

“Sure! He just writes for himself for now, but he loves doing it. He is working for a finance firm though.”

“Perhaps after he gets published, he will get full-time into writing. Who knows?”

“Definitely!” P chuckles and looks supportive of her husband’s writing.

Conversation ends well.

I don’t know about you, but I have heard many writers stutter at the point when people ask what they do. They get stuck, as if someone at a distance is telepathically controlling their words. A mumble, some filler words and then finally a muttering of “writer”. They would say, “Actually, I am an accountant. I studied Masters in Finance from Awesome University. But I needed a break from the number-crunching. So, yeah . . . Oh, I also write; it’s a hobby.” So, it is a temporary recourse, the writing? It may indeed be, but mostly the real picture is different. This is the most uncomfortable point in the conversation. But don’t you think this is like cheating on our passion? Isn’t it stabbing the love of writing, that we take resort to otherwise when in confines of our solitude? Who comes to our rescue if not the written-word? Who consoles us in pain if not the lyrical poems? Then why, when confronted, when among a bunch of people, does one falter to embrace their real-loves?

I wonder at times: we meet so many people in the course a period. We meet doctors, engineers, handy-men. But they never have any problem accepting what they do. I am yet to meet a dentist who is caught unawares when asked about their profession. A dentist never fumbles.

I liken it to a forbidden extra-marital affair which is never to be accepted in public, the secret rendezvous always to be kept under wraps. I chuckle at the thought of a boss trying to hide his unease when someone mentions his beautiful secretary. On a serious note, it is demeaning to the place writing holds in our lives.

The last thing you want to do is show a stranger how unsure you are of your love for writing. Show them you’re a darn good writer instead! How would you speak of your new love when somebody asked you? I tell you how: with passion. Would you look away when someone asks about your new lover? Would you be embarrassed to talk about them or show the stranger your relationship issues, and how you two don’t agree on certain things like politics? No way. That would be ridiculous and disrespecting! Why not, then, we talk about writing with the same passion too? Why disrespect it by being embarrassed?

Love your writing; embrace your writing; be willing to fight with anyone or anything that stands in your way; express the love of it openly, fully to anyone who is interested in what you do; don’t be the boss with grey hair trying to hide his affair; start your conversations like you are querying an editor or an agent—would you show your flaws or falter? Present your best selves. And when you are not afraid to accept who you are, people respect you for that. They like you better.

Rejections hurt and criticisms sting. But when you talk about it in a healthy, positive way with others, you become a better writer and a loyal writer. Loyal to your love, loyal to writing.

BrownEyed is a freelance writer from her home in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia. Originally hailing from a software background, BrownEyed took the plunge and traded her full-time job in software for a freelancer’s life in writing seven months back. Since then, she has worked on many assignments like articles, e-books, websites, and newsletters. Recently, she signed a 3-book deal as a ghostwriter. Before going to bed, BrownEyed enjoys two hours of reading non-fiction, memoirs, literary-type or YA fiction. You can find her musing and reflections here.

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223 comments on “I’m Sorry, What Do You Do, Again?

  1. Ollin says:

    Yes, BrownEyed, I think we all go through that same sort of “coming out” process lol. Its not that being a writer is shameful, it’s just that it never seems to be enough for people. Or maybe it’s all in our heads, who knows! Lovely post, thanks for guest posting! 🙂

  2. Tammy McLeod says:

    Great post! Yes, in order to be it, we have to declare it. Declaration is the first step. Thanks for sharing your courage.

  3. Addy says:

    I’m sure I would be laughed at if I tell my friends that am a writer, but I simply am not bothered by their jibes and taunts!

    Hey, its my life and I know what am doing!

    Congratulations Browneyed on this wonderful post!

    • Definitely, Addy. I like the way you put it: “It’s my life”. With that, even Bon Jovi agrees! So let’s make conscious decisions and embrace what we love. 🙂

      Thank You for your warm wishes.


  4. Lua says:

    I love this BrownEyed; “How would you speak of your new love when somebody asked you? I tell you how: with passion.”
    I used to be very insecure about this- it was a touchy subject. I guess one has to feel like a writer to be able to say it out loud- to strangers. Now a days, when I’m asked what I do, I simply say, “Oh, I’m a writer. Yes, I know- It’s the best!” 🙂

    • LOL yes indeed, we know the best 😉

      BTW, LUA!! You’re back!! Woo-hoo. *frantic waves*

      And even though this is not the real return, thanks for dropping by! We hope you’re doing great there 😉


      • Ollin says:

        Hehe. Lua likes to drop by once in a while. She’s never really left, she’s just very quiet, hiding on the ceiling, in the shadows. She’s like a ninja writer. Comes in and out, never see her coming, never see her going. 🙂 Hope you’re well Lua. 😉

        • WOW. Thanks for that generous update, Ollin. And you’re right, I for one have never seen her coming, never seen her going! 😉

          • Lua says:

            Aww seriously you guys- with friends like you, how can I ever leave?! Besides, I’m having way too much fun following your blogs- they keep me sane hehe!

            And Ollin- I voted and cheering for you all the way from UK! Good luck 🙂

  5. jannatwrites says:

    Love the post, BrownEyed. I have to confess that when people ask what I do, I give them my day job info because it’s just easier that way. My friends get the “writer” me though! (It’s like my alter-ego)

    • Thank you Janna. 🙂

      Hmm. So long as you’re working elsewhere full-time, I think it’s okay to acknowledge the day-job too, but not at the expense of a genuine mention of “writer”!


  6. So true. Many writers are ashamed of their profession. But, HELLO, i consider it one of the most coolest professions.

  7. A.J. O'Connell says:

    You know, this has become a difficult topic for me and I’ve been a writer for 10 years! Until July, I spent a decade as a professional journalist and because I was bringing in a paycheck and produced work daily that others could see, I had no problem, saying “I’m a writer.”

    But in July I quit to pursue my MFA and my dream of writing fiction. And all of a sudden I get sheepish when I tell other people I’m a writer.

    So thanks for posting about this. I needed to read it.

    • There definitely a relation between bringing in pay-checks and writing. But there is enough data to support that too. Take freelance writers–they do earn and bring money home from their writing. However in most cases of fiction, writers should get past the idea of earning money, if possible, and concentrate on their craft first and foremost.

      I read once that if you’re passionate about what you do, rest of the things flow naturally in your life. I liken writing to this–money comes, first feel the passion (and also find a day job or a supporting partner!)

      Cheers! 🙂


  8. I think we need to start a support group: “Hi, I’m Mikalee, and I’m a writer.”

    (Crowd drones:) “Hi, Mikalee…”

    Seriously. I’m so proud of what I do, and I’m proud to point to the many examples of my writing (including my new blog, which I’m having SO much fun producing and planning!). But people do become visibly uneasy when I mention my craft.

    So welcome to all of our members. We need to stick together and sing it LOUDLY! 🙂

  9. I love your advice. You’re right, writers should be confident and proud of their work! Thanks for posting 🙂

  10. Kate says:

    I can totally relate – as an artist, I tend to have the same reaction (even though I currently have a day job as well). I think it’s more fear of the other person’s reaction than anything else, which is really silly when I stop to think about it! Great insight on this topic, I really enjoyed it 🙂

  11. Teri says:

    I am so jealous, I just turned greened. A freelance writer? And a damned talented one at that. Very well done piece, and congrats on being pressed.


  12. enjoibeing says:

    really good post. congrats browneyed! never be afraid of what you love to do. awesome read


  13. zerra&alwin says:

    very good if you visit my blog back and make comments, whatever because it is very useful for me

  14. treatzdeli says:

    love this post! Will keep reading..

  15. zskdorset says:

    I have a friend who lived in New York for a while. I loved that her friends introduced themselves as being ‘professionally’ what they wanted to be – the current day job was barely mentioned. So some were musicians, some were artists, others were, yes, writers… and the day job didn’t define them at all.

  16. […] Josh Morgan wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptA […]

  17. eduClaytion says:

    I’ve been in that conversation a bunch. You can predict the string of questions that follows “I am a writer.” You’re right though, just go with it and be positive!

  18. Sandy says:

    Your observations are all too true; I’ve struggled with the answer to this question my whole adulthood so far except when I could say “I’m a student in so and so program.” Sometimes I kick myself for not setting up my education so I could give the easy answer, as you said, like “Dentist” or “Physical Therapist,” but yes, I would betray myself and my love for writing had I done so, right? Answering this question is even more difficult when in transitions. I am hoping one day I’ll believe in myself more to be able to proudly say “Writer.” Great Job, and if that support group every starts up, someone contact me. 🙂

    • Sandy,

      I wish I could do more so that you could be in alignment with what you love. You certainly have the zeal and you accept it from within. All that’s left to do is accepting your true self in front of others. Otherwise, this world will be short of best able writers like you! 🙂


      • Ollin says:

        Sandy, just to add to Brown Eyed: you are where you are supposed to be. You have already begun the journey, especially if you made it to this blog, I am telling you. You’ll get there soon enough, probably sooner rather than later. Be patient with yourself. You’ll get there.

  19. admin says:

    When someone asks me what I do, I don’t immediately shout “AUTHOR!” because of two very important reasons. First, I have an evil day job. Writing isn’t a “hobby,” it’s my life’s calling. But since I have bills to pay, a roof to keep over my family’s head, and children to feed, I cannot rely on my one true passion in life to keep my family from starving. So I just don’t bring it up. And the 2nd reason why I don’t shout it to the stars, and perhaps the most important reason, is that all my published works have been written under a pen name. Most people don’t even know what that is. So if I said, “Yeah, I’m a manager for XYZ Company. But my secret passion is writing!” then I have people wanting to know what I write. So the explanation begins all about how I write erotic fantasy. Cue the funny stares. Questions continue about if I have anything in publication, what did I get published, what is it about, etc. And finally I have to explain why they have never heard of my pen name, etc.

    I see being an author as a lot like being a spy. I wouldn’t announce to the whole world that I am a spy. And as a writer who publishes under a pen name, I am not going to try to explain to perfect strangers what my pen name is, what I write about, and give them a detailed list of what is published where. The only people that matter, my friends, family, and most importantly, my fans, already know who I am and what I do. Trying to convince someone outside that loop that I am just as good as I say I am is pretty redundant. It’s just easier to leave it out of the conversation. And if I think that I absolutely have to explain myself to them, it’s much more rewarding to pull out my latest novel, autograph it for them, and hand it over with a smile.

      • Hmm. If you write erotic fantasy, perhaps just mention fantasy for those who don’t matter in your life as much? It’s upto you though, yes, and the more you’re comfortable with something, the better. However, think about the fan-base that awaits you once they know you’re the real writer. I am sure your colleagues will buy your books, perhaps even stand in a queue like for Harry Potter books, and dazzle you with amazing feedback 😉


  20. Currie Rose says:

    Wow. Thank you so much. I love your picture too, you radiate a sort of radical peace..

    When people ask me what I do, I say in a quick voice… “Oh… I’m a writer, but I don’t get paid yet.” It’s the truth, I would LOVE to get paid, I have a lot of interesting and uplifting stories…. but at this point, I have not found someone to pay me for them…. I know people love my work, but hey I haven’t gotten paid yet (and believe me I do send my work out)… so it’s hard to say and own, “I’m a freelance writer.”

    Wow, I just caught my limiting beliefs. I AM a freelance writer. There is my affirmation for the day.


    • Definitely Currie. And why think or add “I am don’t get paid yet”? To be true, it is like hampering your own set intention. Tell you what, best leave the money part. As is, it is rude for people to ask about where your money comes from…so why entertain that aspect? I wish for you to start earning too from the craft soon. Meanwhile, shhh….keep focus on the better things and affirm!


  21. This was a riveting read! Congrats! 🙂

  22. Ells says:

    This post reminds me of me – except I’m not a writer, I’m a singer and musician… But if someone asks me what I do, then I usually tell them my day job!

    In some ways it’s easier – there’s no follow up questions like “what kind of music do you play?” or “are you any good?” which are surprisingly hard to answer if people haven’t heard you (plus a little rude in the case of “are you any good?” would you ask that if someone was a doctor?)! But your post has made me consider my automatic response. Acknowledging that part of what I do, and what I am most passionate about is just as, if not more, important than what I do to earn money. A job is just a job after all.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    • I am glad you took the chance to reflect, ells. What I mean is if you are in total love with your passion, money, and pretty much other things like peace of mind, happiness etc, follow. Try it! 🙂


  23. Nikole Hahn says:

    Writing is viewed by the populace as a hobby unless your name is listed on the number one best seller list. My grandmother once asked, “Sooo….what are you doing about your writing?” As if I am doing nothing…lol.

    My mother-in-law stayed at our house one evening and at midnight tapped on my office door. “It’s time for bed.” Thus, the writing coma was broken by the mere act of tapping.

    Otherwise, I’m rather proud of my second currently non-paying job. The amount of time put into it is an accomplishment, I think. Someday, like you, I will make a living off of it. Or at least a part-time living. LOL.

  24. I am always amazed by people who hear I am a writer then go off and say so and so in their group writes the best notes or the best this or that as well as bosses who seem to think writing is nothing work. It can be off-putting. Yet, I hve learned to move on. When putting others down is the only way a person can feel good about themself, you know the problem is them and not you.

    • Yes, that’s true. But let’s just focus on the better side of things. Let them be. Let’s not think evil thoughts or respond to the in kind. What’s important is to focus on where the craft lies. Writing can really pull off and bring a lot many goodies with it; it just needs a bit of time to thrive 😉


  25. Browne Eyed– I know what you are talking about. When I also tell people that I write, they say, “but I thought you were a singer?” and yah, as a singer I write songs…but they can’t see how I can do that AND also write my daily blog.

    Great post!



  26. pltprincess says:

    For those of us who dabble, who only dream of being a writer, I think it should be expressed it as a hobby. For those who have made it a goal, who put serious effort toward this noble profession, it should be stated firmly and proudly. It’s as worthy as any, and perhaps worthier than most other professions. Enjoyed the post.

  27. i fee like im ready to “come out” now and admit that writing is what i love to do. thanks.

  28. auntbethany says:

    I love writing. It’s definitely a “hobby” for me, but in my wildest dreams, I allow myself to see my great novel appearing on the “Most Read” shelves at Borders. Yet, I am quite hesitant to open up my “Blog World” to my closest friends and family. Writing is such a personal thing for me. I express myself best with pen and paper. I fumble and stumble for words during telephone conversations, always forgetting the important things to say and wishing I had made a plan of attack. On paper, it’s different. On paper, I am confident. Yet, I, like you, am a bit hesitant to introduce my new blog to the people who I cherish the most. Guess I’d like to keep my private hobby just a little private for a while longer…I like to keep writing “mine.”

    Who knows? Maybe I’ll be inspired one day to proudly proclaim my new status as a blogger. But for now, I’m content to be unusually shy with my new endeavor. I need the Honeymoon Phase of blogging to last just for a little bit longer…

    • Loved the phrase you give to it: Honeymoon phase. Absolutely, please do enjoy! 🙂

      It’s true that I haven’t shared my blog with family/friends. But my partner knows it and as far as my family is concerned, I don’t know if they will be interested in it anyway. They won’t ignore it, but they won’t know what to make of it either 😉


  29. Catherine says:

    Loved this post! Made me want to actually be a writer though. Right now I write, I love it and can’t live without it. But I am in public relations. I’m not a writer yet, not by trade, not my profession. I feel like until I can make a decent wage doing it, I’m not allowed to claim it somehow. But someday, I will say it loud and proud – and I won’t waver. Can’t wait for that day to come!

  30. This is great! Thanks so much for posting. I recently graduated in May, from studying Creative Writing in undergrad. Of course, people ask all the time what I’m doing now, and though I have a “day job,” what I’m really doing is working on my writing and starting my career. I sometimes feel ridiculous saying so, though! Especially being so young, and so fresh out of school, I feel like people will look at me like I’m some naive fool if I really answer the question of “what are you doing now?” with “I’m a writer.” But it’s all I ever want to do, so thanks for the reminder to embrace it. I can definitely feel how speaking positively about my writing can help the way I write.

    • Speaking, thinking and being positive will sure give things a major boost Maisha. It’s like you’re comfortable in your own skin, and the Universe brings more of such to you. If you’re not ready, then take some time off. Because you cannot say and and not feel it. When you’re ready for it, when you are not faking it (that doesn’t imply you are), and when you truly embrace it, watch how things change. 🙂


      • Ollin says:

        Ah, Maisha, it’s all in our heads, my friend. All in OUR HEADS! You’ll find that most people are more intrigued by the fact that you want to be a writer, and usually its ourselves that think that people will not like what we do. It’s all in our heads. Tell some people, and see the proof for yourself.

  31. danablair says:

    Interesting… I always struggle with explaining what I do to people who aren’t in my field. I’m in non-profit communications, which is pretty vague to the naked eye. I actually often tell people that I write because that’s where I started and that’s what I love. They seem impressed. It’s not something everyone can do. Wear your writer’s caps proudly people!

  32. blueeyes033 says:

    Love yuor post! I had to smile. I just started my blog, nothing special. I am not ‘focused’ in my thoughts, and the words come willy nilly.. a hodge podge of musings and a humor that at times, I only understand.
    I wrote my first ‘book’ at 12.. and over the past 10 years, have written many more that are now confined to the recesses of a box in the dusty attic or ended up in a landfill somewhere. I write, just to get my thoughts out, not with any real thought that anyone else would want to read my words.
    I have been married for 5 years, and my husband only recently found out that i do write. note to self, close your files if you don’t want them seen. 🙂 So, surprisingly he told me i should blog.. so here i am.

    But you can bet, i wont be telling any of my friends anytime soon of my writing or my lastesd attempt at blogging. LOL.

    • Blueeyes, I am happy that you have a supportive hubby. Why not share it with him now that he know about it? Perhaps he can give you fresh insights, and become one of your beta-readers 🙂


      • Ollin says:

        Oh, why not blueeyes? All my friends and family know and they are so supportive, and they love me even more now that I am just my normal ol’ self. Listen, sharing your passion is not about other people, it’s about you. You need to feel empowered, and I suggest sharing it, and those people who don’t support you–guess what? You don’t need them in your life anyway. But I have a feeling that you’ll have a lot more support than you think. Good luck to you! 🙂

  33. Craig Maciolek says:

    Great Post! I don’t worry about it too much though. I lie to the people who obviously don’t really care and wouldn’t put in the time to understand what I was about. Saving myself for those who are genuine and do put in the effort. It’s an intuitive thing really.

    It is my opinion that too many people worry far too much about impressing people that don’t really care.

    Have a nice day C:)

    • Hmm. If you look at it from that angle, yes, there’s no point in striving for attention from those who don’t care. Still, your writing is your best friend, and acknowledging it by no means could go wrong! 🙂

      Thanks; glad you liked it.


      • Ollin says:

        Ah, you fear rejection, most likely. This is perfectly normal. Telling everyone that you are a writer {even strangers} isn’t for them Craig–IT’S FOR YOU! Thats right, it’s to boost your confidence in yourself, trust me it works. And you’d be surprised: whenever I tell a stranger what I do {write a novel that is} they are far more fascinated and supportive than when I used to tell them I was a tutor, a this or a that. Please, do it for you. Plus, people need to know there are writers out there in the world. Otherwise it might seem like its some sort of thing that only exists on TV, lol. 🙂

      • Craig Maciolek says:

        Lol! No my friend, it is not a fear of rejection. It is an annoyance with people who jump to conclusions. They have no interest in listening or thinking, so they simply finish any idea offered to them with the simplest perspective. When I try and explain something complex to these people I end up with a frustration that can knock me off track.

        And if I do choose to tell a lie, it is never a small or boring one. Where would be the fun in that? 😉

        Have a good day C:)

        • Ollin says:

          Well, I am happy that you do not fear rejection. Looks like you are on the right track then. I’m glad to find that you are a happy writer, Craig.

          You have a good day, too. 🙂

  34. Messina Studio says:


    Nice piece – I think this goes to say for all creative professions. I know a lot of people encouraged me in school to do more professional styles of art is it’s ‘more acceptable’ to make a living off of graphic design, or some other such form of corporatized art. And yes there is some sort of social stigma to doing something that isn’t considered widely accepted – especially if you’re not making a lot of money at it. But everyone loves authors and artists who actually make it big. I guess people don’t realize that everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up (unless they’re lucky enough to have some influential family member).

    I agree with your sentiment though! I think a lot of creators just don’t have the confidence when they’re starting out, but this post of yours is a great inspiration to not hang your head low when someone asks you what you do for a living!

  35. Ollin says:

    I want to welcome you all to {Courage 2 Create}! Being on Freshly Pressed just sort of jumps out at you from nowhere, so please be patient with me and BrownEyed as we leave replies to all of your comments!

    In the meantime, I welcome you to click on “About Ollin” above to learn more about me and my journey writing my novel. Or you may go straight to “How to Read This Blog” to learn how to begin your blogging experience at the {C2C}.

    Also DO NOT forget to visit BrownEyed. This article was a guest post and you are welcome to visit the fabulous author at her site: http://browneyedmystic.wordpress.com. Please do visit her and leave her comments!

    Well get back to all of your very soon. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

    much love,


  36. […] “I’m Sorry, What Do You Do, Again?” by Guest Blogger BrownEyed (ollinmorales.wordpress.com) […]

  37. Very inspiring article. I wish i had the courage to answer proudly that i am a writer but for now i will have to remain in the closet a bit longer I’m afraid. Quiet frankly it’s just to embarrassing and painful to be honest with people.

    • If you expect embarrassment and pain, they will greet you eagleflyshigher. Anyway I wish for you to embrace writing soon enough; the world needs better writers forevermore 🙂


      • Ollin says:

        Mmm, but it certainly makes you feel powerless when you can’t be open and honest with everyone, right? I recommend starting to tell some strangers, then trickle it in with some friends, then some close friends, and slowly slowly grow your support group until you can tell your family. You NEED support eagle, you really do, and you need to feel like you are an empowered writer. You will be so happy that you made the move to be honest and open. Oh, and by the way, we all go through that phase, it’s normal, and you’ll get through it very soon. I promise. 🙂

        • Thank you for your support and encouragement BrownEyed and Ollin, I am sure in time that i will feel better about doing what i feel I’ve been called to do. Until then my empowerment must come from the man upstairs who called me.

  38. […] I’m Sorry, What Do You Do, Again? by BrownEyed Last evening, I went to a house-warming party. There were about 30 people in my friends’ new house, and they had managed everything quite wonderfully. Since I saw most of the invitees for the first time, I offered a smile anytime someone new passed by me. One of the ladies came and stood next to me, holding a drink in one hand, and tossed a conversation, “Hey, I love your dress. I am P by the way. An … Read More […]

  39. tomuchtalk says:

    wow I really need to read this today thanks!

    Love your writing; embrace your writing; be willing to fight with anyone or anything that stands in your way; express the love of it openly, fully to anyone who is interested in what you do; don’t be the boss with grey hair trying to hide his affair; start your conversations like you are querying an editor or an agent—would you show your flaws or falter? Present your best selves. And when you are not afraid to accept who you are, people respect you for that. They like you better.

    Rejections hurt and criticisms sting. But when you talk about it in a healthy, positive way with others, you become a better writer and a loyal writer. Loyal to your love, loyal to writing.

  40. blandness girl says:

    I really enjoyed this article, unfortunately I’m at work and I haven’t read all the responses-so I’d like to apologize in advance if this comes off as redundant.

    I think I have an answer to this query, or my answer at least. All my life I wanted to be a writer, still do. I was very good at writing and often wish I had kept it up. I was good at many other artistic endeavors, and my strengths fell within research, observation and the documentation of such. However I was strongly discouraged from pursuing any of these possibilities as a serious field. I was strictly confined to either go into engineering, nursing or teaching. This may seem silly, but my grandparents are who paid my way to college, and it was their way or whatever–cliche! What they instilled in me was basically ‘survival’ skills. To them, those were my options of being a successful independent woman. A writer? Yeah good luck keeping a job down in that. I wasn’t given one second of consideration for my talent in the field. *this is not how I really feel about this*

    I was under the impression my grandparents felt that it was necessary that I also serve society on some level, that I was a productive member of the workforce. This is my answer, because when it comes down to it, I write what I know. Most people and great writers- write what they know. All that requires is 1) you, and 2) your understanding of a language that you can communicate well enough in to write fluently. Now I have no intention on insulting or criticizing writers, I still would very much like to be one!!! This is just my feelings as to why people feel weird about saying that they are writers, because its something anyone can do. (whether you realize it or not) its important to be able to prove that you do something productive in society, and when you are asked what you do, there’s this implication that you are dispelling, well, essentially, your purpose. Your purpose in the grand scheme of things, that’s why personally I was always proud to say I was a janitor or a delivery driver, or volunteer, any of those really productive sounding things as opposed to my current state of ‘video editor’. But when I say I edit educational videos, that changes things a bit. the difference is one sounds like fun and games, the other, sounds noteworthy, progressive.

    And when I say anyone can be a writer, its true, anyone can be if they try. Yet to be a great writer- it demands that fearlessness, that effort, dedication, practice, just like many other trades demand. There is obviously even more to it than that. However it doesn’t hone say the technical know-how of engineering, or the apprenticeship of plumbing or some blue collar jobs out there that are keeping the societal pistons pumping.

    Lastly, I think one of the reservations of proudly saying you are a writer has just a wee bit to do with guilt that you are one of the few that are fortunate to be successful at such an enjoyable skill that you manage to get paid for it. Next to someone that crunches numbers all day, it seems exotic and wonderful. And a special thank you to all those that continue to inspire me with your great writing! Thanks again for this article, very interesting to think about.

    • Thanks girl for your wonderful thoughts. As far as anyone can be a writer, I will say only this: it is true if you believe it, it is not so if you don’t 🙂 I personally have not thought much about this–I am far too busy tending to my craft 🙂 But I think everyone has a right to think the way they do.

      I appreciate your thoughts here, girl. So thank you again for taking time at work and writing it down. Also yes, writing can seem very exotic next to number-crunching! Ha! That’s the best part–get paid while having fun. Why be guilty of it? 😉


      • Ollin says:

        Oh, but writer’s are so vital to this world! It is such an important purpose in life. I encourage you to read my post “Motivation!” and “Accidental Death of A Timely Artist” where I talk about how writers are NECESSARY for human society. You might also want to check the video “How Schools Kill Creativity.” All these posts you can search for at the box at the bottom of my sidebar. Thanks for stopping by! We appreciate your long and thoughtful comment. 🙂

        • blandness girl says:

          I will gladly check out those articles, I already love the title “How School Kills Creativity” for that says everything I always felt about school. I’m thankful that my article didn’t come off as too negative-sometimes playing devil’s advocate backfires. I couldn’t agree more that writers are vital to this world-how else would history and evolution of human thought have been documented? There’s only so much carbon dating can tell us.

  41. Jillian says:

    I’m just coming into my own as a writer, and this blog is really helpful for me with that! When people ask me what I do, I always tell them that I’m a writer who works at a day camp in the summer and goes to school for the rest of the year. I used to list student first, but once I gained confidence in my writing and realized that, hey, some people will love it and some people won’t – might as well show it anyway, the “writer” in me came first.


  42. Terri says:

    I know the feeling, Brown-Eyed. It doesn’t help when the follow-up question is sometimes, “No, what do you REALLY do?”

    Now I just give them my elevator speech: “I’m a health and science writer who translates medical and scientific gobbledygook into plain English so everyone can understand it.” Then the follow-up question is usually something like, “So, what’s all of this I hear about [dietary fad of the week]?” But it beats “So you don’t have a job?”

    • Haha. I like your take on it, Terri. You don’t enjoy the questions, but still have a knack to put them right…in a funny way 🙂 And I applaud the fact that you acknowledge your writing in spite of the sort of trouble!


  43. M. Howalt says:

    Well said! I absolutely applaud this. 🙂

  44. indowaves says:

    A good write-up.I never thought that even in other nations the writers face embarrassing questions about their professions even as they come to mention that they are writers !!!! In my nation the writers belong to group who do nothing !! That’s why they are considered as chosen fools-souls good for nothing.

    • It’s universal, I think. The sole reason being we relate what we earn with what we do. I can understand that it’s an important relation, though. But not to be encouraged at the cost of the craft.


  45. Excellent post!!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!!

    An wonderful eye-opening post. You’re exactly right we writers ought to love our writing the same way we would love a job we were so in love with…or, so be it, another human being in a love relationship.

    I’ve done the same things. Lately, since I’ve been having so much fun with my blog, I’ve been telling people that I am a blogger and have written down the address, now that I am more comfortable with the idea. I know, I need to get business cards, all in good time.

    But, I notice, when the question comes, of “What do you do?” or “Are you retired?,” I do hesitate, look away, then back, look at the floor, beyond the asker, before I take a deep breath so I can say with confidence that, “I am a blogger,” and then go on to describe my blog. My next step then (after reading your post)is not to take a deep breath, but to say I’m a writer who blogs. Mmmh, yea, I like that.

    Thank you for the guest post!!!

  46. marisol says:

    Lovely! honestly and congrats for being freshly pressed!

  47. grassrootsy says:

    A-mazing. Try saying “I’m a musician.”
    I’ve been living as one full-time for the last few years and wouldn’t believe the reaction I see in people’s eyes sometimes.

  48. Amber says:

    I think for me (and probably a lot of us) the stigma started fairly young. When family members heard, “I want to be a writer,” they filed it away with “I want to be a superhero” in the Cute-But-Not-Real file and responded with a “That’s nice, dear.”

    When I was an older teenager and began seriously considering my degree choices for college, English was at the top of my list. When people asked and I gave them my answer, the response always leaned towards “Oh, you’re going to teach?” or “Going into law school, eh?” The looks I got when I tossed out my true aspirations were enough to cause me to hide them under a rock. Thankfully, I just slipped under the rock with them and pursued my degree anyway.

    It took a while for me to use the word “writer” without cringing, so I think this is a great topic. Thanks for sharing your encounter with us. 🙂

  49. Siobhan says:

    So true Browneyed. I hope I’m one day lucky enough to proclaim that writer is my profession!

  50. Steve says:

    The things that are most worthwhile in life never come easily.

  51. mrjones says:

    Great post! As a newly minted “freelancer” I have been in that same position when asked what I do. Especially from people who knew me in my other career. But what’s refreshing is when I tell people that I write, how happy they are that I am finally doing what I enjoy. That makes it all much easier.

    • Yes, that’s what I mean! It’s our same pattern of expectation that people will mock us or ask us further pressing questions. But to be honest, it is not always so. Once others sense you are happy in your own skin, they JOIN you and be happy for you. Moreover, they start respecting you.

      Can’t tell you how many of my friends and my partner’s friends have done this to me!


      • Ollin says:

        I agree with BrownEyed, you start to love yourself and be confident in who you are, and you will be amazed at the miracle that will happen: every one loves you MORE now that you are happy being a writer. It’s so simple, yet we all avoid it. Good luck to you!

  52. dawneatscake says:

    To this day expressing my love for writing brings up teenaged memories of being called out, bullied even, as a teachers’ pet, nerd, “Miss Perfect,” and the like. Some days I am totally at peace with my Geek Chich, other days it still hurts to possibly be judged that way. I’m pretty sure that most adults are a little more mature than to call the writer at the dinner party a Nerdy Turd, or at least I hope so.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

    • If you expect the same kind of behavior and keep thinking about the past, you’re missing out a lot that could be in the present, and inviting the same old stories to replay. Do you want that? No, right? Then shun them. By shunning, I don’t mean kill them. Be at peace with the terror stories in your past that make it so difficult for you. Talk to them,; look them in the eye. Let them tell you what they want to. Be calm and just experience it because it’s the last time you are ever going to see them. Then, once they are done talking, send love to them, tell them you are sorry this happened, and bid them goodbye.

      Start afresh. Don’t be stuck in that old pattern. You rock 🙂



      • Ollin says:

        I agree with BrownEyed. These people you mention are what Julia Cameron would call your “creative monsters” or people who have scared you straight out of a writing career. What must you do then? You must face them and deal with all the crap they dropped on you.

        Chances are they were just afraid or intimidated by your intelligence and your brightness, so they did what they could to strike it down. Often other creative people who are blocked or who cant’ create try to stop other people from creating. Because it threatens them. Don’t let the bullies win.

        Read Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way and start your recovery. You’ll become a proud and out writer in no time! Good luck to you. 🙂

  53. wordbone says:

    Inspired, Browneyes, you are a beacon shining in this wilderness of bloggin’. It’s easy to get lost here among the trivialities of life, but you breath life into the subtext of the simplest comment. Thanks! Wordbone

  54. Rob says:

    Great post

  55. I really enjoyed reading your post. I must say I’m still a beginner at writing even though it has always been my passion. I can really relate to the feeling that I want to hide the fact that I actually write. I feel that when you’re really young people appreciate your work no matter if it’s good or bad, as long as you write you are a writer. With age I feel it’s not accepted to say I’m a writer unless my work is really good.People question it and wants proof you’re actually able to write. I never really show my work to others for the fear of being rejected. Now I realized that many people may not like what I write but if some do – to them I’m a writer. I recently started a blog here on wordpress and I hope someone will like my writing. Who decides if you’re a writer or not? So I guess it’s a state of mind.

    • You are a fab writer, and I don’t say it w/o reading your work. I left a comment on your blog. That poetry is heartfelt, and honest. I am happy you and your brother are back together 🙂 And I wish and I know you will make it through as a writer–a genuinely good writer.


  56. blackwatertown says:

    I agree with the idea of being upfront and confident – you even get to hear some good story from the other person. Sometimes though it can be tiresome to have to defend your choice to write. Occasionally people interpret it as an implied criticism of their more conventional job.
    As for me, I’m trying to fit the writing in at the moment in the middle of everything else – but as I’ve just decided I’m about to begin (well… as soon as possible) a radical rewrite of my finished (now suddenly unfinished) novel, I feel much sunnier about life.

  57. Wow, I don’t know whether you’ll read this post amidst all the others, but thanks for this, I myself have been writing for about two years now, still haven’t been published (though I’m 21 so I try to find solace in still having time, and failing that becoming published post mortem. I think we’re supposed to call that faith 🙂 ) I agree with you. Really I do, serious writing is no mere passion, it’s who you are. I think the artist (musician, painter, writer, etc.) is simply one more sensitive to the world than others, you feel certain things and pick up subtle emotions more acutely, and these frustrate you, they either make you feel like exploding with joy, or dying of sadness. they irritate the daylights out of you until you have to get them out. And like a grain of sand in a clam, these emotions produce pearls of art. The artist may simply have used the medium to get rid of a feeling they no longer wanted to feel, and may perhaps leave them with a piece they never want to look at again, since it’s something they specifically needed to purge from themselves.

    So I think writing is not necessarily a passion to the esteemed writer, but rather an inalienable part of who they are. It’s not something they have a real choice in doing, they only get to choose the terms of the action. Thanks for the post. I’ve even found myself thinking twice before answering ‘what do you want to be again?’ it’s nice that pure coincidence (if you believe in that sort of thing) led me to wordpress for the first time in months at the time your post was up, which I then read without knowing what it’s about.

    Thank you again.

    • William,

      Why would you think I would not read your sweet post? It’s inspiring and encouraging for me, so can’t miss that goodness 🙂

      I am happy that you are trying your best. Just be sure you also tend your writing with love, affirmations and positive thoughts. You will be published. 🙂

      And that’s not co-incidence; it is a synch. Take it as an offering by the Universe–this is what you were wanting, and there, you have it!


      • Ollin says:


        Me and BrownEyed both agree that if you took the time to post here, you deserve a reply as soon as possible! It’s the least we can do for you for taking the time to visit us.

        “So I think writing is not necessarily a passion to the esteemed writer, but rather an inalienable part of who they are.”

        Beautifully said, and very very true. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

        PS: I agree with BrownEyed, I mean after all both of us worked together to make this freshly pressed post happen. Thanks due to synchronicity! 🙂

  58. colin leslie beadon says:

    I suppose, Browneyes, writing really does not have to go, or take, you anywhere. There is no doubt it is a way of letting off physic stream, and I’m positive so many of the world’s greatest writers have used it for that reason.
    In my own case, since my aunt was a novelist and I admired the way she lived through doing it, I decided, at age 32, to start writing short stories, not really appreciating it was the most difficult of all art forms, though loving short stories myself, most of all.
    Well it took me seven years still I started selling them, and then in the early 80’s the demand for the short story went flat, and you found it really hard to get them sold.
    But things have changed a lot since then, and if you can write anything of value, you’d probably not have too much problem selling, if you’d just stick at what you want to write about, like a leach on the back of a hippo, and if it is selling you have in mind.

    • Definitely. I agree. The markets are turning, and even if they were not, I am sure the love, passion, effort and honesty that goes in one’s work can make a piece a great sale.

      I am happy for you; you didn’t give up.


  59. unabridgedgirl says:

    Awesomesauce! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  60. Love the post! When people from my hometown used to ask me what my parents did, I’d say, “They’re musicians.” And they’d say that was nice, but what did they do professionally? I might as well have said that they were trapeze artists. I now am a professional musician, and though I’m not immensely successful, I’m happy! Keep up the good writing!

    All the best,

    – Viola –

    • And that’s the spirit. When you say “I am happy” it automatically attracts more of so toward you. If you love music, I am sure you devote yourself to it. Soon, other better things come flying in your direction. That’s my belief.


  61. Linda says:

    Yay! It’s so great to see so many people having the opportunity to visit {Courage2Create}! This blog has such wonderful content not only for writers, but for any artist trying to gain the courage to create. Keep coming back and supporting Ollin and other bloggers like BrownEyed, who’ve had the courage to embrace their passion and pursue their writing!

    Congrats, Ollin! You’re too awesome. 🙂

  62. Good post, it seem people never think outside of a box, there is more to life than having just a professional job.

    Nice post – i like it

  63. tacky says:

    Great post! Great article. I very much agree and enjoyed reading!

  64. Leslie says:

    Wow, congratulations on the getting on Freshly Pressed! That is exciting! I’m also trying to write – and find a job as my writing cannot as yet support me. But this post about being in the closet about my writing is so true! I often find myself doing the same thing… Glad to see it’s not just me. And I love the writing style.

  65. […] or who are my old, loyal readers but unable to decode what I just said, I am honoured to announce my guest post at Ollin’s wonderful blog is chosen as one of the Today’s Freshly! Pressed… So head over to Ollin’s and read the post and let me know your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? […]

  66. thegeeman says:

    I good friend of mine Joe Harnell (yes, the same Joe Harnell that won the grammy for fly me to the moon bossa nova) said writers write and actors act. neede I say more. It is as simple as that. No more no less.

  67. milkfever says:

    Congratulations Brown Eye and Ollin on being freshly pressed and showing true passion with your writing. Your post made me smile because I always say, ‘I’m a Pilates teacher….oh, and a writer.” I suspect it’s time to change the order and delivery of that statement to: “I’m a WRITER!!” Yay!

  68. mia1984 says:

    I can sadly relate. I find myself unable to look into people’s eyes when I tell them what I do. The two magic words are: “writer” and “freelance”. I don’t even know whether it’s real or just perceived, but I think people see it as me making excuses for being “unemployed”. My own parents think I’m a slacker, thank you very much.

    • I am sorry to hear that, Mia. But ever thought what happens when you start to look at it in a refreshingly different way?

      Let’s say you go out tonight and you meet someone new. They ask the same question, and you let an ear-to-ear beaming smile spread across your face and say “I am a freelance writer.” Next, they are intrigued to know more. “What do you write”. So what? Tell them! If you don’t have any assignments of your choice, tell them what you are seeking to write! Say it in a comfortable manner, and watch their reaction. You know what they’ll say? They may not say anything and just smile. And connect. Or they will say “Great!” or “I am happy for ya!”.

      But seriously, do their words now matter? You will know better then–they don’t. Something in the air would have changed, and they will send across warm vibes. Just because you are someone who is in love with their work.


      • mia1984 says:

        Thank you so much for the encouragement. And the great advice. You’re right, it just makes so much sense that I shouldn’t be the one waiting around for people to change their attitudes toward writers. It should be myself.

        Thanks again. 🙂

  69. Hom Acharya says:

    Great writers are great by their writings. Their thoughts are great, their writings are great,their ideas are great and what else? Everything seemed great at a short glance. Going GREAT. Move ahead.Remember
    woods are lovely dark and deep;
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep;
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  70. Tammy McLeod says:

    Woohoo! Freshly Pressed! So happy for you Ollin!

  71. noothergods says:

    Heh, I have to say thank you for this post mostly because I’m one of those people who hums and haws when asked what I do. Part of it is fear of rejection, another part is fear that my work will not be well-received. Ultimately, however, I should be proud of what I am capable of giving to the world. So, very good post, thank you for it.


    • Thank You for acknowledging the goodness in this post. Don’t fear the rejection, because with fear you’re only focusing more on what you don’t want. Focus on the better side.


  72. “Oh, you’re a writer? And what do you do to make a living?” 🙂

    I kind of know what you’re talking about; As a furniture maker, I get folks in the shop who look around and admire all the tools then look at me and ask “Did you start this after you retired?”
    I’m 65 and have been doing woodworking for 33 years, and doubt I’ll be able to retire.
    I suppose some folks are envious that you can do what you love, but it’s hard work! You bust your butt and barely make ends meet, while they get a nice salary, benefits, and holidays!
    The best to you in this new adventure. (BTW, I envy you: I can’t write my way out of a wet paper bag!)

    My shop: http://slowoodworker.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/open-studios-art-tour/

  73. Shanna VanNorman says:

    I love this. I’ve been pondering the thought a lot lately, what is it I’m going to say when people ask me what I do? Hmmm….”well I’m a ‘creator'”, no this sounds too God-like. I’m a “designer”, no because my designs are still in the making. Well, then I guess I’ll just say what I really actually ‘do’ most of the time, “I’m a writer”. There even typing seems odd.

    It takes courage to be who you are. The greatest part of life is becoming who we are meant to be, exactly as we were created. This has inspired my latest blog:


    Please take the quiz and find out what’s holding you back in life.

    I love to inspire and be inspired, so I’ll continue to follow your work.

    Thanks for the insight.

    Much love,


  74. newauthoronamazon says:

    Hi I am a writer too and have just authored my 1st book a few months back. My book is titled
    MasterMind and is based on LOA. http://newauthoronamazon.wordpress.com……Roda

  75. winxrocker says:

    I love to write, and I’m not afraid to tell anyone this. Guess what? I’m also taking part in NaNoWriMo, and it’s been a great experience so far. I don’t think any writer should be embarrassed to say that “Hey! I’m a writer, it’s what I do!”. Everyone should be proud of who they are and what they do, and being a writer is something the person should definitely be proud of!

  76. Alejandro says:

    I can not write in english as well, or as bad, as I can do in spanish. So, I hope you can understand.
    El punto es el siguiente: cuando un médico o un ingeniero ejercen su oficio, aplican en un 90% las técnicas aprendidas. No exponen públicamente sus sentimientos al hacerlo. Su personalidad debe quedar al margen o al menos perfectamente resguardada tras los gruesos manuales de anatomía o las intrincadas fórmulas matemáticas. Un escritor, en cambio, decide hacer público lo que la mayoría resguarda. Aquello que rumiamos en privado, el fardo de la decepción o la delirante sensación de júbilo, la reflexión, la propuesta, el escritor debe exhibirlo, y al hacerlo se expone a sí mismo.
    “Camerado! This is no book;
    Who touches this, touches a man” Walt Whitman

    • Thank You Alejandro. I attempted a translation (via Google Translate) on your text; I hope you don’t mind my pasting it here 🙂 for the benefit of all:

      “The point is this: when a doctor or an engineer ply their trade, 90% applied the techniques learned. Do not expose their feelings to do so publicly. His personality should be excluded or at least well protected behind thick manuals of anatomy and the intricate mathematical formulas. One writer, however, decided to make public what most shelters. That which we chew in private, the burden of disappointment or elation delusional, reflection, the proposal, the writer must exhibit, and in doing so exposes himself.”


      Indeed, How true. A writer is forever “exposed” to the outer world–because he has his everything at display. Well said, Alejandro!


      • Ollin says:

        Bienvenidos Alejandro!

        Eres buen escritor! Sorry, my spanish is not perfect, it was my first language though. I just wanted to say welcome and also to say that as you visit my blog puedes escribir en espanol, you can write tambien en Espanglish if you like, or just plain English. 🙂

        Well said! That was beautiful.

  77. Manali says:

    Greetings from India, Brown Eyed Mystic!

    I always proudly declare that I’m a writer. It’s definitely something to take pride in.

    Great post 🙂

    • Greetings from Australia, Manali 🙂

      And that’s a great asset to own–a sense of pride in your craft. I applaud your gesture.

      May you write well, and write often.


  78. razzlemonster says:

    Really awesome… Love it!

  79. anthonymagro says:

    Spot on and well said.

    This isn’t limited to just writes, I’ve seen so many people stutter and mumble when someone asks them “what do they do?” with myself included.

    People should be proud of their roles. I’m a sales trainer and I always get a funny look when I tell them I’m a trainer because their first assumption is personal trainer.

  80. rtcrita says:

    This was such a wonderful writing about how to present your skills as a legitimate job. And I think that’s really the crux of it all. Because when does it become such? It is when you finally have something published, or someone finally actually pays you for a piece of artwork you have created? Do you have to sell five pieces of artwork before you can legitamately call yourself an artist? It can take a long time to “create” something till you get it to the final finished piece of work. Does that mean in the meantime while you are creating your work that you don’t have a legitimate profession? If you take your work seriously, then it would seem to me that whatever point you are at in getting to the finished product makes you legitimate at whatever you have chosen to do in your life.

    It’s really no different than a real estate agent or some similar profession. How many house tours and showings does an agent have to do before they actually finally sell a house? Does that mean while they are showing houses, they are not actually an agent until they sell one?

    It’s the same with being temporarily unemployed. When someone asks you, “What do you do?” do you say, “Nothing.”? You could say what your training is in or that you are in between jobs or something just as “less-loser” like.

    But, yes, it does have to do with confidence. I went through a period where I was doing a lot of art work in all kinds of medium and when I looked up and realized, “Hey, I’m an artist!” which is what I always wanted to be and went to school for, then that’s what I started calling myself (and with lots of confidence) until I changed courses and started redirecting my skills into what I do now. I still consider myself an artist, as I am always creating and making things. But, I have another job that helps to pay the bills, too.

    Good luck in all you do! You have great skill in writing, and I know this because I loved reading your article!

  81. Very, very real.
    I am also a freelance writer. I’ve been published a number of times… and yet whenever someone asks me what I do, I still seem to cringe when I say, “I’m a writer.” Either that or my voice cracks that it’s barely audible. It’s not that I am not proud that I can write, but sometimes I get shy because there are people who think that writing is just a hobby and who don’t take it seriously.
    Sometimes it’s also the fear that they (whoever THEY are) might not like the way I write, or might think my thoughts and ideas are shallow.
    But then when I do think about the people whom I actually touch with my words… those people who laugh with me or learn from me, I get the courage to persist.
    Making a difference in someone’s life is more than enough reason to keep writing… and to be proud of what I can do.
    Great post!

    • Onefinemonday,

      I understand your concerns. However, let me say this: when you’re in “flow” or one with your passion, you are not afraid. At least that’s what I’ve seen. This is not to say I’ve never been afraid or unsure if my client will like what I have come up with, but, those are the times when I am not aligned with my passion (writing). Thankfully, those times are far and few in between now 🙂 So cherish and “be one” with your writing–fear will evade.


  82. Fuzzy Logic says:

    I think writing is a great profession. A friend of mine, a want-to-be-writer-stuck-in-engineering-course, says she doesn’t really admit to enjoy writing because she isn’t sure if people would understand this passion. And she also mentioned how she didn’t want her ‘non-reader’ friends reading what she writes. Oh well. 🙂

  83. I’m thinking it might be my age (63), but when I tell people over age 50 that I write, the usual response is “Oh, I’ve always wanted to write!” I’m thinking that’s because at this age, people have pretty much been there, done that with societal expectations, and are retired/planning on retirement/regretting not having done what they always wanted to do. It’s like they see that I’ve taken the Great Leap, and they want to do the same.

    • Precisely, and it’s not only limited to people above 50. Trust me, I’ve met so many who literally adore this side of me. I think it also depends on how you tell them, and how much happy you over all are.


  84. A good read… certainly worth reading !!


  85. Alan Tolerton says:

    I am a translator (freelance) and I have the same conversation. Except that people always tell me about how they were not good at French in school, or about a relative who excelled at languages. I long ago learned to hold my head up high and introduce people to a profession they had no idea existed. Now, I take it or leave it; you can see early where the conversation is leading, and my role is varied: patient listener, mentor, teacher, and occasionally, a great conversation ensues on a topic you would never have guessed would come up.

  86. chulianne says:

    Reminds me about the quizzical responses I hear from anything related to the Humanities. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more of a practical versus impractical situation. Many people I know who pursue a degree in the Humanities do so because it’s their hobby and they want to make it a career. I’m an Art History major and I feel that has validity, despite personally being confused as to how someone doesn’t understand ostensibly what “Art . History . ” is.

  87. aRuL says:

    great posting 😉

  88. Great post!! Very encouraging to those who wants to make it his profession. In fact every one should write whether he takes it professionally or not. Every one has some stories to tell. There is no life with a story. One can frame his whole life or feelings in stories like in movie “Big Fish”.

    Thanks for sharing.

  89. tyka says:

    OMG i love this post i wanna cry 😳

    i myself, eventho i havent written any book yet (fictional or non fictional), but indeed i am a proud blogger. in my main blog (the one who isnt written in english), i have written like about 1500 posts since 2005. my writings, mostly were just about daily ramblings, yadda yadda yadda. but at least I WRITE 🙂

    congrats on the FP :mrgreen: will blogroll both of you soon, i hope you two dont mind.

  90. marcys says:

    While I agree with your POV, I think the reason so many writers are reluctant to engage in cocktail party chatter about our profession is that we’ve gotten so many bizaare reactions to it. Either people don’t take it seriously as a profession, or they ask ignorant questions, or they give off-the-wall advice without knowing a thing about the publishing industry. The two most common reactions are “I have a great story idea for you!” or “As soon as I get the time I’m going to write a book about…” When they tell me their great story ideas, I want to say “I don’t need ideas, I need time.” And when they say they plan to write someday soon, I am tempted to respond, “Yes, I plan to try out brain surgery {or genome splicing, or dental work, or whatever profession they happen to be} one day when I have the time.”

    • Ollin says:

      That’s a really great point that hasn’t been addressed here. I love your response by the way–yes people do seem to think that they can pick up “writing” in a day like it was like having to ride a bicycle. Thanks for your thoughts!

  91. brianitus says:

    Writing winked at me a couple of times during drunken moments back in the 90s; I didn’t notice it trying to grab my attention. For years, I denied it the chance to be a part of my world. I had a steady back then — a day job for a large corporation.

    I didn’t realize that I had a secret “crush” on writing until late of 2008. That was when my affair with it started — 500 words or more and a nice compliment from a reader. I was in love, blindly and passionately. I married freelance writing in 2009. Sadly, we split ways in 2010. I just didn’t have the stamina to keep up with what it wanted in exchange for what I needed. A few months after the breakup, I still visit that secret love, now mostly through blogging.

    Forgive the silliness. Loved your post. One more good reason for checking out Freshly Pressed. I’ll definitely check out your other articles here. I am betting that they’ll do me some good.


    • Ollin says:

      Silliness is welcome here brianitus! Be as silly as you want, and I completely understand your “love affair” with writing, we can’t seem to do without out it can we? Good luck to you! 🙂

  92. bookjunkie says:

    I really needed this…….what you say is so true. I have been guilty of stumbling as well and writing is my one and only true love.

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