It’s Taken Me Seven Books to Finally Call Myself a Writer

I can’t speak for the rest of you, but when I started writing and publishing my novels, I kept expecting people to “discover what a fake” I was. I mean, I couldn’t wrap my head around calling myself a writer, even though I had a book out.

Then, I published a second one and most people still thought it was a cute little hobby. A cute little hobby I sweated and slaved over, got edited, beta’d, proofed, worked on covers, formatting, advertised, etc. Then, came numbers three and four and people thought, “wow, how adorable, she’s really trying to do this.”

I wondered when the day would come when someone said, “Hey, what do you do?” and I’d say “Oh, I’m a writer.” (without being embarrassed) Is it because I still don’t bring in enough money to actually write full time? Or something else? All I know is that publishing is vastly different than it was twenty years ago. I swear if I had done this back then, I may have been more successful. Well, maybe. For me, now, I’ve accepted that it’s going to be a slow and steady process. My goal has always been to get the books out and THEN to get the series out for each one. I was told I actually did it backwards, that I should have concentrated on one series at a time, but that wasn’t how life worked out. I had single books written, so I put them in market, and as the muse hit me, I wrote the sequels.

And that’s where I am today with the Kelsey Porter Series. I wrote THE HUNT FOR XANADU, which is book #1 in the series and next month I’m publishing THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB, book #2 in the series. I have high hopes for this series and my desire is that it continues for many books to come. So, to wrap up this entire post, I guess after this novel finally launches, and I officially have seven books in market, I can officially answer the question, “What do you do?” with “I’m a writer.” (hey, I didn’t even cringe too much writing that!)

FB cover all books

Interested in learning more about this series? I just got a fantastic review from a Top 500 Amazon Reviewer just a few days ago. Feel free to read it here:

For any writers out there – how many books did it take for YOU to consider yourself a writer? Love to hear!


24 thoughts on “It’s Taken Me Seven Books to Finally Call Myself a Writer

  1. That’s the mindset. I was so busy trying to be published writer I didn’t realize that I was in 16 books until I created/updated my website and discovered that I was published. I now have 5 of my OWN books, 1 co-authored and something like 15 anthologies I’m in. I now call myself an author. Maybe that is presumptuous, perhaps haughty but I’m a writer and most people consider that term as a hobbyist. Don’t ask me why, as you know, it definitely isn’t a hobby. I have 2 books of mine that I intend to publish this year, in fact, within the next 5 months and another 2 the last 6 months of 2016. Elyse, you are NOT a writer — you are an author and be very proud of that title – you’ve earned it and deserve it.

    • 16 books in – wow, that is such an amazing accomplishment. I can’t tell if it’s a hobby or not still. It’s what I do instead of watching TV and going out. But if I don’t write, I get a little “itchy” if you understand that. I’m sure you do. Thanks so much for commenting Bob, really appreciate it.

  2. Hi Elyse,

    I’m still trying to call myself a writer. With one book out, one on the way and almost through the first draft of my third, I hope I can answer that question – cringe-free- soon!

    Congratulations on your latest book! And yes, you certainly are an author. Thanks for the post. Enjoyable as usual.

  3. I can totally relate to this post! When I first started writing I felt like it was a silly pipe dream. Then the more I did it I gained some confidence. But that confidence was dashed when I answered that question of what I did with “I am a writer” and people responded “Oh! Are you published?” So much for that. So I’m still getting used to saying “I am a writer” and I’m glad to know that even published authors still feel like I do 🙂 Makes me realize I’m not alone.

  4. I really used to feel the same way you describe, but then a seasoned author and friend chewed my ear off at a convention when I was asked what I do and I didn’t say ‘writer’. My friend pulled me off to the side and said, Lisa, writing is your calling it may not be how you pay your house payment right now, but you, my dear are a writer. So ever since then when asked, I say I’m a writer. If they ask me where I work I say my day-job is blah…blah…blah, but I’m a writer.

  5. I’m glad you’re giving yourself appropriate credit at last! I’ve felt like a writer ever since I knew what a book was. I think the most important thing to being a writer is to start writing… and never stop!

  6. I’ve got five books and a novella out. But I don’t think the number of books published made me feel like an author. My turning point came when a fan met me and asked to have her picture taken with me. 😀 (Did a little happy dance…)

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s writing stories as the muse hits, and not according to a marketing plan. I have three books out now, one coming fairly soon, but so many ideas for books I can’t count them.

  8. Oh how this resonates Elyse; for ages I said ‘I write’. Eventually I tried the ‘I am a writer’ piece and no one fell about laughing. And when eventually I published my first book, well I stopped being embarrassed at how much of a fraud I felt. I think, when book two emerges from its cocoon in the spring I might feel even more worthy of the title. Well done on all your progress to this point and much success from here on! Fellow writer!!

    • Good for you! I will say when I introduce myself that “I write” and they don’t fall over, their response is this usual wide-eyed shock that they met “an author.” It’s still unnerving to me – especially when I go to a school and I’m introduced as an author. I must learn to get a thick skin about this.

      • It’s the emperor’s new clothes syndrome, isn’t it? Some one will point out it’s a con! But it isn’t we are writers. Somehow it’s true and we won’t ever wake up!

  9. Well done for accepting who you are – so important. I don’t yet feel like an author, probably won’t until my second or third book….but I’m getting there. Love your writing!

  10. I can relate so much to this! Even after being a journalist for years and self-employed as a consultant/writer, I still felt weird saying I was one. My fiction writing was like a dirty little pipe dream but now that I’ve authored three published books and been in two anthologies, I feel confident saying, yes, I am a writer! And now I have an answer to the second question (after what do you do): have you been published? YES. That surprises people. LOL.

    • I still struggle with the “indie” title and feel like I have to justify it with saying some of the books were with a publisher before they folded and then were picked up by an agent, who couldn’t sell it… so I did it myself. But I’m getting better at it!

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