Self Respect

I was initially going to write "I'm not talking about your general self respect, but rather your self respect as a writer" but now I think of it, the two are strongly tied together.

I was brought up in a family that was loving and wanted me to write but that also felt I should have a proper job because my writing was just a hobby as far as they were concerned. I followed their lead and trained as a secretary. For years, I toiled away in office jobs and kept my writing as a safe haven to return to in my spare time. I dreamed of having my novels published but ultimately I had little respect for myself as a writer.

It wasn't until I penned my first murder mystery play for the drama group I was part of that I began to think that my writing was anything more than a hobby. From then on, I began to make time for my writing, in fact guard that time ferociously. However, I still didn't call myself a writer to anyone other than my inner self. I was a secretary, a P.A., an office manager, but not a writer.

When we had to move for my husband's job and I was suddenly a stay at home mum, having given up my job, I began to reconsider my identity. Who was I and just as importantly, who did I want to be? I was a mum and a wife; that was certain. Was I a writer?

From that point on, I began to take my writing more seriously. I began to respect my writing. When people asked what I did for a living, I told them proudly that I was a writer.

As you can see, my journey from hobbyist to fully commited writer took a long time, a couple of decades in fact, but I got there. Believe in yourself. There'll always be things that can get in the way and people who will attempt to negate the importance of your writing, but if you truly respect yourself as a writer then none of that will matter.

Say it with me. I'm a writer.

(Subject inspiration taken from Christina Katz's Prosperous Writer newsletter.)

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