Many people don’t think being a writer is a “real” job

If you have a job as a software engineer, a doctor, a waiter, a nurse, or something similar, most people will take you seriously. But mention that you’re a writer and you might be seen as lazy or some kind of work-shy weirdo.

If someone like Stephen King introduces himself and says he’s a writer, he’ll get taken seriously. He’s well-known and has books that many people have read. Even if you haven’t read his books, I’m sure you know who he is.

But what about writers that write for Medium or some other platform. Or freelance writers that write for clients but don’t have their name shown on the articles as the author?

To most people, you’re a nobody. To say that you’re a writer doesn’t mean anything to them. This usually leads them to think the worst of you.

I’ve only recently started saying I’m a writer because that’s what I am. It’s how I earn my money. But people just don’t know how to react.

I called my mother last week and she asked if I had a job at the moment. I told her that I’m a writer that writes online. She wondered why I couldn’t get a proper job. She sound disappointed and felt sorry for me.

But why? I guess that when she speaks with her friends she’d rather say I’m a doctor, a software engineer, or whatever.

If she says I’m a writer, I doubt it will be impressive enough.

Another issue I have is that people want to read my novel. After all, if I’m a writer I must have a few novels for sale at the local bookstore. Most don’t understand that there is more to writing than just writing novels.

Mention writing to most people and they likely think back to the school essays they were forced to write. Everyone can write an essay, so it seems like I haven’t made any progress at all since my schooldays.

I can almost read their minds. Poor soul, he’s spent the last 20 years writing, doesn’t have any novels published and doesn’t even have a real job.

I met a friend yesterday and told her that I was a writer. She didn’t seem very impressed at all. So she then asked what I did to earn money. I said I’m a writer. Oh, how much do you make from that? Well, I made almost $700 last month and hope to get to $3,000-$5,000 a month by the end of the year.

Then she asked how she could get started and if it was easy. Money talks.

It seems that being a writer is being a nobody. Earning money as a writer suddenly catapults you into an expert that can help others make money.

I think I’ll go back to telling everyone I’m a flaneur because that is my real job.