#IWSG: What does being a Working Writer look like to you?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


October 7 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?

Aarrgghh! My first instinct was to say that a working writer is one who writes for a living, but when re-visiting the dictionary definition of “work”, it is simply an activity that is done to achieve a purpose or result – no mention whatsoever of monetary reward. So, if a working writing is one who writes for a purpose or to achieve an end result – I’m a working writer.

But …

I also know that I have two jobs. One I class as my day job because it pays the bills. The second being a developing business as an NLP Coach which I intend will become my primary income stream as soon as is possible. If I’m honest, the writing has to get fitted in around those two.

I’m also a hobbyist photographer. Now, I’ve no problem at all categorising myself as hobbyist there, because I don’t have any hope or expectation of earning a living via photography, so I do it simply for enjoyment. I don’t describe my writing thus, as I have a purpose in writing, which is to achieve both publication and receive a monetary reward. Of course I enjoy writing, but I also have dreams.

In truth, there’s no simple black & white about this question, for so much of it is down to the perception of not only the writer themselves, but of those around them, and of society in general. As always an interesting question – and I’m much looking forward to the responses of my fellow #IWSG members.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner and I encourage you to take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction photo prompt? Every month, we run a different #FF prompt – sometimes a photo, sometimes a saying, sometimes just a word …

Just your ordinary everyday commuter …

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2020

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business is Caring Coaching.

16 thoughts on “#IWSG: What does being a Working Writer look like to you?”

    1. Thanks Natalie. I’m sure there are plenty of working writers, especially when you detach the monetary aspect of that concept. Writing is work, and I’m pretty confident that we all sit down with that attitude, no matter how much we might enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was kind of a tough question this month. For me, at this particular moment in my life, working writer does mean writing for a financial reward. That’s just the necessity of where I am right now, but I don’t think that’s the way it is, or should be, for every writer. As you say, if you’re writing with some goal or purpose in mind, that’s a kind of work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deep in my heart of hearts, I’m afraid that I won’t consider myself a working writer until I’m in a position to make a living from it. It doesn’t need to be my sole income stream, but it must contribute to it. Till I’m in that fortunate position, I’ll just keep on working at it – both the writing, and the figuring out of a future when it all comes together.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Personally, I know that I don’t do the work often enough – that’s a balance I’m working on resolving.

      NLP is a pretty long-winded way of saying that we’re formed by our experiences and our learnings, but that we can make changes should we choose to. The name put me off, but the concept drew me in. Good to see you here Joylene.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence – it’s appreciated. I love your take on that photo – it’s along the same lines as I was thinking for the story I really must get on an write! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked your photo. It reminds me of Harvey, one of my favorite movies. Yes, work is not just what we do for money. I like your definition. And I may just have to come up with a story for your photo. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like your definition of a working writer, with the emphasis on purpose. Mine is much the same. I’m curious about NLP. I’ve been getting deeper into various forms of self-improvement lately, and it sounds like a topic I should explore. Do you have any recommendations for getting started?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Janet, so glad to hear we’re aligned!

      As to NLP, I was fortunate in spotting a “taster” course being run by a coaching trainer I knew & respected. It was just a weekend and was being offered at a discount, so very cheap. If you were fortunate in finding something like that – it would be ideal, but there are plenty of books. Most of those that I know are designed for practitioners, but I’ll ask around my training group for recommendations and get back in touch with you. I do very much recommend NLP if you’re interested in self-improvement.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alex & thanks for the welcome. I used to participate under my personal site but decided to move it here as more suited for writerly things 🙂 It’s been interesting discovering how many words I take to mean something subtly different to their definition.

      Liked by 1 person

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