Wednesday, 7 October 2020

IWSG October 2020

So we've reached October of this most memorable of years and, seeing that it's the first Wednesday of the month, it's time again for our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as always by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offload whatever fears or insecurities are plaguing us, which is surely becoming more needed than ever. Our cohosts this month are Jemima PettBeth CampBeverley Stowe McClure and Gwen Gardner.



What with one thing and another, I missed last month, but I figured I couldn't miss today's posting being as it coincides with a significant date for me of the "four zero" variety. Does that mean my life is beginning? I could use a fresh start...

Given that I've been able to work throughout the pandemic, I feel bad being insecure about anything. Progress continues on my newest WIP, although it's been on and off throughout the year, and I'm still trying to get back to that sweet spot of 1k a day. I am making progress, though, and I'm not going to whinge about anything. I sincerely hope you are all doing OK and haven't been impacted to too great a degree. 

Let's have a look at this month's IWSG question: 

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

This is a great question and I think it comes down to how much you "own" being a writer. To me, a working writer is a writer who writes - simple as that. It would be very nice to earn a comfortable living from it, but that's the preserve of the very few, and no one gets there without putting in the same level of work - or more - than someone who has already become a household name. I'm not really sure what an "aspiring" writer is, but if you aspire to do something it basically means it's something you'd love to do one day, or at least that's my interpretation. If you start writing, you're a writer. "Hobbyist" sounds too trivial and brings to mind something like crocheting, although having said that, I'm sure there are crocheters (crochetists?) who are fiercely devoted to their work and would be outraged at being called a hobbyist. I hope I've answered the question there!

Don't forget to check in other IWSG writers by visiting the list here.

25 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The crochet people are going to be all over that comment!
I've been working the whole time as well.

Leigh Caron said...

I like when you said one has to "own" being a writer. When I was a copywriter I owned it because I got paid for writing. But writing novels on my "own" I found it hard to "own" it until I published it.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Nick, yes wouldn't it be nice to earn a comfortable living from writing. I wish we could all do that :)

Patsy said...

I agree that it's more about our attitude to writing, than the financial reward (if any) we get from it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I completely agree! Working writers write. That's all that's required. Sending stuff out into the world somehow - blogging, self-pubbing, queries, short stories to magazines, etc. also fits in there somewhere, but just writing is what makes us writers.
Happy IWSG day!

cleemckenzie said...

Yep. If you write, you're a writer. I agree.

Melissa said...

Oh, goodness! Don't anger all those ladies out there with crochet hooks! LOL

I love the way you put it - 'own' being a writer. That's one of the best definitions I've read all day.

40? Pft. You're a baby. Live it up. :)

Loni Townsend said...

Glad you're making progress with your writing, and glad you're able to keep working! I've always been just a dabbler in the words, so though I do write, it is more of a passion project.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's awesome that you're making progress on your writing. I kind of look at my writing as a hobby because I'm not sure I ever want to get published.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I think you pretty much said the same as me about the types of writer! I work hard at my writing, so I think that makes me a working writer :). And hobbies are things I do for which no one in their right mind would pay me (so if *I* crochet, it’s a hobby. My Mom has at times been a working crocheter, because people have paid her for her work).

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

Are you hinting it's your birthday? If so, happy birthday!

Susanne Matthews said...

I like your answer. Making a living from writing is every writer's dream, but as you point out, it takes time to become a household name. The key is to put out quality work and keep doing it. I suck at promotion, especially my own, but I'm slowly building a following. Good luck with yours.

Liz A. said...

Happy birthday. While you may be more fortunate than some, if you feel insecure about something, it's okay to have those feelings. We can't go around feeling like we should be feeling good when we're not.

Liza said...

Happy birthday!(?) I agree that a working writer is someone who is writing. Glad you are seeing some results.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Very few ever make a living solely on their writing. But many get really close.

Steph W. said...

I can agree with you on all accounts. I suppose the hobby would be if you never let anyone else read what you wrote, but still, you are writing. That is a tricky one to define. To working writiers!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Wishing you the best for getting back into the rhythm of writing and reaching that goal of 1k a day.

Donna Hanton said...

It's interesting--you're the second person who has used that interpretation of aspiring, which is, of course, correct. I view myself as aspiring, but am currently working hard at writing. I think I need a better writerly self image!

Beth Camp said...

Hello, Nick. I wish I were a 'crocheter' so I could respond appropriately! That made me smile. I am a quilter and sometimes find myself thinking about writing while quilting. I do agree with you that hobbyist sounds trivial . . . and with your idea that if we work at our writing, we are simply writers. Kudos on your ability to hit 1K a day for output -- no need to feel guilty about having a job during these chaotic times. We all are going ahead as best we can. May the coming month bring you many, many good words!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

We're doing well here. Glad to hear you're surviving this too. I lost one job due to Covid, but picked up two others. It was a matter of reshuffling.

1K a day. That's a great goal. I have been shooting for 500 words. I only manage to hit that a few times a week.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I completely agree with your answer to the working writer question. I've never really heard it as a term before.

Hope you had a great birthday. 40 is great, enjoy it :-)

Stephen Tremp said...

Hi Nick, yes it would be great to receive steady reliable income from writing. Still better than playing lottery tickets.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Glad you're making consistent progress! I had a hard time with work throughout the pandemic, but felt bad for complaining when others had lost jobs (or like my husband...taken pay cuts due to the pandemic).

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - I hope you had a fun birthday despite the restrictions around ... I always think of those authors with established patterns of writing ... with those standards set - challenging for us to settle into it. Good luck with yours - take care and all the best - Hilary

Diane Burton said...

You wrote: a working writer is a writer who writes. Just what I wrote. Brilliant minds. LOL Happy Birthday. October is mine, too, though a lot older than you. Enjoy this period of your life. I try to do that, too, though I long for the days when I was younger, healthier, stronger. But, I am smarter now, so that's something. Writing 1k a day is amazing, esp. since I'm not writing at all.