Own Your Experiences as a Writer

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Yesterday I popped over to Twitter and saw a post from a friend. She just moved from one country/continent to another with her young daughter. Her writing career is going well but this has been a stressful time. To help pull herself through the stress, she decided to focus on the joy.

So when people ask about her writing, that’s what she focuses on. How much she loves getting to write. How much fun she is having with her stories. What hearing from her readers means to her.

Then a friend contacted her. “You need to stop it. You sound braggy.”

Puh-lease. It is her experience and her story to tell.

I too have had someone tell me that I sound like I’m bragging when I talk about my writing. Fortunately, I know this person well. And because I know her, I can let her reaction go. After all, I know what’s behind it.

The reaction that I have trouble ignoring is “You are so lucky to get to work full time as a writer.”

Honey, luck has played only a part. I’ve worked hard and I’ve made choices. We live in a less expensive part of town. We don’t take a lot of expensive trips. And when someone says “I need someone who can do X,” I give it serious thought.

The reality is that both of our experiences are true. Succeeding as a writer takes a lot of work. And you have to decide that you really and truly want to do this.

But if you love writing, it is amazing fun! Reading is part of my job! So is going to museums and other places where I can find ideas and inspiration. I can work on the road. No internet or wifi? I can write in a notebook. Or I can put everything aside and hike and explore and experience. It is all part of my work.

If you are a writer, own your experience. Don’t apologize for it. Acknowledge that luck plays a part but that you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You’ve worked hard so reap the rewards and share the joy!