Writer At Work (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(As always, I’m assuming that if you’re here, reading this blog, you’re already familiar with the IWSG, but if you’re new and on the prowl for more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!

This month’s (optional) question asks, “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? If the latter two, what does that look like?”

In theory, I am a working writer. And I’m fortunate to be a working writer who doesn’t have a day job of any kind. At least not one that, you know, earns me any money. Not that writing earns me any money, either, because, you know, it doesn’t. My last royalty payment earned this reaction:

(Apparently, if one wants to sell books, one has to actually tell people said books exist. Which, just…ugh. I don’t like that.)

But yeah. I’m a working writer. And for me, that pretty much looks like an anxiety-ridden basket case constantly on the verge of a full-blown breakdown because she knows she’s not doing enough. Not writing enough, not publishing enough, not marketing enough, not anything enough. (Though, to be fair, I’m not convinced I would ever think any amount of writing/publishing/marketing/anything would be enough. Anxiety is my co-pilot!)

I don’t know what being a working writer is supposed to look like. (Not the way I do it, from what I hear. Which is true. If your goal is to make money from writing, you really don’t want to follow my business plan.)

I imagine it’s one of those things that will vary from one writer to the next, depending upon that particular writer’s particular goals.

And my goal, as has been stated in a lot of these posts lately, is to just do my own thing and don’t care if anyone else likes it.

(Sorry, y’all…this is apparently my new favorite gif.)

And on that note, I’m outta here. Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll try to do better the next time.

Stay safe and well, all.

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23 Commentsto Writer At Work (An IWSG Post)

  1. mshatch says:

    By your definition, I, too, am a working writer, though it sure doesn’t feel like it. And I hear you and telling people about your books.

  2. I think you’re doing great by doing what you’re doing. What you need is a marketing partner, someone who will do all the talking about the books for you that way you don’t have to.

  3. Serenity – nice choice of image!
    I think basket case writer is secretly your happy spot.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Of course it is. You should see me when I’m not on the verge of a full-blown breakdown. Now that’s scary. 🙂

  4. Jemi Fraser says:

    I love that seen in Firefly! Love that whole series!!!
    I hear you on the marketing stuff. I love the writing bits, the rest often stinks! You keeping being you!

  5. Chrys Fey says:

    I love that being a working writer (or any writer) looks different for everyone, as it should. 🙂

  6. We’re pretty much on the same page. Once I got to this point, my writing life became so much more fun. My motto: If you don’t like doing it, don’t.

  7. I do my own thing, too.

    Got your new book. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

  8. Kate says:

    There’s no point trying to do things any way than your own. It’ll just make you miserable.

  9. J E Oneil says:

    Wow. Reading your post is almost like looking in a mirror.

  10. As long as you are enjoying doing things your own way then keep at it.

  11. Liz A. says:

    You are doing enough. I’ve been working on this lately myself. I feel like I should always be working or something, and lately I’ve been giving myself permission to just be and do nothing. (And play games on my phone, but we won’t go there.)

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could figure out a way to make something go viral? Then you’d have best sellers! Although, that might not help your anxiety. It’d probably make it worse.

  12. I like your definition. I think we keep on working on it, and try to find our way. But yes, my royalties are like yours. Coffee money, maybe, not vacation money or living money yet. (Yet!!!) 🙂

  13. You can only do so much, especially as one person. Don’t let it make you go crazy.

  14. Beth Camp says:

    Kudos to you for making me smile while appreciating anew how we all doubt ourselves — whether it’s writing the stories we love or trying to market them. Actually, I cringe at the thought of marketing . . . but keep trying to learn. Participating here brings you closer to other writers . . . and now, I’m going to check out your book on Amazon! Hope you have a good month and keep writing.

  15. “Anxiety is my co-pilot”: That’s a really good way to put it, since a little anxiety does help us do better work constantly and so it keeps us on our feet. Or, in this case, perhaps, on our fingers with the keyboard or/and pen!

  16. As Diane said: you can only do so much. I suggest you check out James Wedmore (either on Instagram or on his podcast https://www.instagram.com/jameswedmore/) to help you to get over the “having to work 24/7” mindset. Good luck!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Revamp Your Backlist

  17. DONNA HOLE says:

    If it works for you, the plan is a success 🙂

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