IWSG October 7, 2020: Working Writer

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!
 
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?
 
MY ANSWER:
Hobbyist: Are You A Hobbyist? Hobby artists may spend years, decades, or even an entire lifetime making art strictly for personal pleasure. They want no responsibility for a business. They don’t desire to develop a following, sell their artwork, or try to support themselves with their artwork.
 
Aspiring: desiring and working to achieve a particular goal : having aspirations to attain a specified profession, position, etc. an aspiring actor [=a person who aspires to be and is trying to become an actor] an aspiring novelist.
 
Granville Redmond: is my grandfather and he relied on patrons to promote and sell his art. Much like today, he poured his energy into his creative expression, not sales. He did not want to take responsibility for a business. So does that make him an hobbyist?
 
I’m reluctant to pigeon hole myself as aspiring, but I guess that’s the best fit. My focus in improving my craft. I have no interest in the business side; however the word hobbyist rubs me the wrong way. the term working writer caused me to pause. I certainly work and write, but I’m not paid.
 
Does every definition need to be defined by money?
 
I’m very curious to read how others in our IWSG blog hop answered this question.
 
 

12 thoughts on “IWSG October 7, 2020: Working Writer

  1. I don’t think that money defines the definitions. I am probably a hobbyist right now because I’m not sure I want to ever try to get published. But I do work on improving my craft.

    1. Hi Natalie,
      I apologize for my late reply. Life kinda piling up and whisking time away.
      I respect your uncertainty regarding publishing. To me, it would a very demanding phase and like you, I’d prefer to spend the time improving my craft.
      Thank you for your visit and taking a moment to comment.

  2. Hi,
    Do you have to get paid to be a working writer? I don’t think so. In that case. writers like William Faulkner, T.S. Elliot, Emily Dickinson, and many others who had to struggle first would not have been working writers, but look at what they left behind.
    It is all in how you see yourself.
    Wishing you a great day.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    1. Hi Pat,
      It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 days since you posted your comment. My computer crashed last Monday. Thank goodness, my IWSG post was schedule for auto post at 5am Wed.

      Like you, I found defining working writers as: paid-for-writing very limiting. I’m curious to read other POV. Yes, in large part, it how we view ourselves.
      Thank you for your time and thoughtful comment.

    1. Hi Joy,
      Certainly, my grandfather had to die before is work sold for high dollar. Glad you are planning on sticking around, my friend.
      Thanks for your visit and reassurance.

    1. Hi Alex,
      Does it matter? As Pat Garcia wrote (above), “It is all in how you see yourself.” There is a lot of wisdom in IWSG. I’m eager to read other comments. Thank you for creating IWSG and taking the time to visiting and comment.

    1. Hi Anna,
      The thought of being pigeonholed inspires my rebellious tenancy. We just moved to a new development. I’m out of my comfort zone as I adjust. Maybe, my pigeon hole offered more security than I realized. LOL
      Thank you for visiting and take a moment to comment.

  3. Another writer for IWSG said that a hobbyist reminded him of someone who crochets — not a writer. That term ‘aspiring’ takes me back decades to that time when I doubted myself. It did take many years before I could simply say, “I’m a writer.” Your comments today remind me that we each invent ourselves. I think you are a writer!

    1. Hi Beth,
      For the last eight (8) years I’ve moderated La Cruz Writers’ Group. Over time, I’ve observed folks inventing themselves and discovering they can call themselves a writer. I’m one of them. I refer to myself as a writer mainly because I love the process and can’t see me ever stopping.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts with me.

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