you're reading...
Confidence, Miscellaneous

Note 169 – When are you qualified to say ‘I am a writer’?

I’m fine being asked if I’m a mum, a project manager, an accountant, a training manager and a testing manager, but when someone asks me if I am a writer, I come up with this long-winded sentence which goes something like this:

‘I’ve written all my life and I’d like to think I am a writer, in fact I am….I really am trying to learn how to be a writer…actually I’m doing a course to learn how to earn money being a freelance writer and I do this daily blog about writing tips to improve my writing skills….’

and it goes on and on until they glaze over!

Now I’ve been writing most of my life (albeit, mainly for fun) and certainly for longer than I’ve been qualified in any of the above jobs, so why do I find it so hard to respond confidently ‘yes, I am a writer’ without trying to make it sound like I will be one day?  When do writers qualify as writers?  Is it when they start to earn revenue from it?  Maybe this was meant to happen, so that I start calling myself a writer from today.

I am a writer…

So, let me practice.  “Hi my name is Sandra Madeira and I am a freelance writer in my spare time; however, one day when I earn enough money doing it, it will become my full-time job.”  There, that was easy (well, not really – I rewrote it twice).

Thank you to the person who asked me the question today which inspired me to write this blog.  If she hadn’t, then it wouldn’t have made me realise how things have changed for me this year and how I should be calling myself a writer. Do you have the same issue as me when being asked if you are a writer?

As always, I decided to check around the internet to see if anyone else has the same issues – I found a post by Lindsay Bamfield – When can you call yourself a writer? which is a very interesting read.

This blog post forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance writer
Please visit for more information on my services as a freelance writer.

My writing challenge

My other blog

My Tips and Luxuries website
(includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Related posts

Lindsay Bamfield – When can you call yourself a writer?


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


10 thoughts on “Note 169 – When are you qualified to say ‘I am a writer’?

  1. Hi, I have a similar issue when I’m asked if I am an artist.
    Well, practically I am, because I went to art school and I even finished it… (but this does not really make the artist I think)
    I do find it difficult to say, ‘Yes, I am an artist’
    I am much more than just an artist, and an Artist is so much more than I am….
    Besides, when I say I am an artist, people immediately ask if I can make a living out of it (which leads to discussions I don’t particularly want to have… )
    Lately, I feel more comfortable saying: ‘I work as an artist’
    It feels more true for myself and – strangely enough – people don’t ask if I can make a living as an artist… weird!

    Posted by katerinazisiadou | October 16, 2011, 11:24 pm
    • Thank you for your comment. Very interesting point Katerina – sometimes it is about being true to yourself and feeling comfortable with your response. I actually think that the shorter and more concise your response, the better.


      Posted by Sandra Madeira | October 16, 2011, 11:29 pm
  2. What a great post! I know EXACTLY how you feel. Good job!

    Posted by amymarie | October 16, 2011, 11:53 pm
  3. Hey Sandra, I believe that you have done a great job with your writing challenge. I am learning each day as well. I do like your setup of your blog and site. I call myself a writer/author even though my books are not published just yet. I believe that we all have a story to share or words that we can write to help others in some form. I read a book recently by a football player and even if football was not my thing, (and it is) I loved the message. I believe we can learn from each book we do put our eyes on. We each have a unique “voice.” I think that we are qualified to say we are writers because we write! “Just Write” as my blog states in http://thewritershelp,

    Posted by Jackie Paulson Author | October 17, 2011, 7:25 am
  4. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for using my post in yours! No, I haven’t had that million pound book deal yet, or any other sort of book deal come to that, but gradually the sucesses are coming in. I managed to win a pitch competition for my novel and have had an agent look at my first 20,000 words with encouraging results. Have had just a short story placed second in a competition and a small piece published in Mslexia. It’s taken some time but it’s worth it. I now have no qualms about telling people I write! So keep writing and keep telling people that’s what you do.


    Posted by Lindsay Bamfield | October 17, 2011, 5:21 pm


  1. Pingback: Note 317 – I AM a writer, so let’s move on a step… « My writing challenge - March 12, 2012

  2. Pingback: Note 363 – What’s your label: Blogger, Writer or Author? « My writing challenge - April 27, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 401 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 183,666 hits
%d bloggers like this: