When people I ask me what I do, I’m hesitant to say I’m a writer. Because writing is my passion, and because it’s not a huge source of income for my family (yet,) I sometimes feel like it isn’t really a job, like I am playacting in the career I thought I could only dream of having.
And yet, I tell myself, people read my words. They pay for it, even.
My books, my articles, my poetry.
They read, they review, and they want to talk to me about the writing, the stories.
My publisher and fans are encouraging me to write more, and I still can’t believe it. I’ve been writing forever but never dared to expect it to become a career.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve discussed this sense of falseness with other writers and critique members – some who have literary agents, some who have several books published or on submission. They feel funny when asked what they do, unsure if they can actually call themselves writers.
I also struggle with feeling guilty about devoting time to writing. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but when I sit at my keyboard and tick away at a story all day instead of going to the grocery store or finishing the laundry, there’s this voice in my head that tells me I’m neglecting my family for selfish reasons.
Logically, I know this isn’t true, but I also know that when I’m sucked into an idea, I’m no good at multi-tasking.
The breakfast dishes will remain in the sink all day, and I won’t have any idea what’s for dinner when my kids ask me the question after school. For me, writing is an all-in activity. Everything else waits until I finish the chapter or the essay or get to whatever point feels like the end for that day. Some days, someone ends up disappointed. Maybe I didn’t make it to the store to buy the popsicles my little one asked for, or maybe the shirt my oldest daughter wanted to wear didn’t get washed. These examples may seem super minor, but I have to be honest in saying I feel guilty when I sacrifice my kids’ desires (even if the thing they want is totally unnecessary,) in order to increase my writing time.
After much thought, I have decided that this year’s resolution will be to stop apologizing for and minimizing the value of my work, to accept and freely state the fact that I am building a career in writing. Instead of feeling guilty, I’m going to be grateful that I am able to both take care of my family’s needs at home and write part-time.
It will continue to be a balancing act, and no one will get everything they want every single day, including me, but hopefully we’ll all get what we need.
More about Dana Faletti: Dana Faletti is the author of The Whisper Trilogy, a young adult paranormal romance and Beautiful Secret, a sweeping adult drama of family secrets and forbidden love that is set to be released by Pandamoon Publishing in Summer of 2016. Dana blogs about whatever inspires her at, writes poetry as a survival skill and loves to connect with other writers both online and in person. When she’s not writing, Dana can be found reading on her kindle, cooking something delicious, or daydreaming about her upcoming travel destinations. She lives in in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, three young daughters, and a hypo-allergenic Siberian Forest cat named Fluffy G. Check out her website for more information about Dana and her books. You can also find out more about her books on Amazon.