I believe that if you think of yourself as a writer, then you are a writer. If you write regularly, if you are working on your craft, if writing is integral to who you are — then you are a writer. How you think of yourself first, or the way you want others to think of you is how you should present yourself to the world. This means how you think of yourself beyond being a mama and wife, because those always will be integral to who you are. That's just my opinion. And published is published; you don't need to justify or explain how or where you were published in casual conversation.
I hope this helps.
i've had the very same dilemma! and I have not even been published yet! It is so true was Susan says also that if you want people to perceive you as a writer, that is how you should present yourself. i am building up to the process of "coming out". i think from your standpoint you should introduce yourself as a writer because that is what you are doing and you have some credentials. it is odd, i think if a person is an unpublished writer but they spend a lot of their time writing (with the intent to publish) then it is legitimate to call yourself a writer. for those of us who have another career that dominates our lives (whether we want it to or not) it is a bit harder to make the shift. for one thing, there is a certain amount of suspicion and judgement you have to deal with that makes it not worth the effort to "explain" things to people. but i'm feeling braver about it now and once i feel like i dedicate enough time to it (and get some credentials) then I will be more comfortable calling myself a writer.
Your description above almost sounds like me (although instead of school, I have a part-time job). I have felt the same way and am a bit scared to validate myself with the title of "writer". I think that is mostly an issue of accountability for me. Do I really want to answer when people ask how my writing is going? What if I have had a few weeks (or months) where my writing has had to take a spot on the back burner? I still haven't decided. With some people, I introduce myself as a writer, and with others I still hold back.
I often tell people I'm a wannabe writer. I've not devoted serious time to my writing in so long, so for me I cannot claim "writer" without then feeling dishonest. I even felt guilty joining "She Writes" because this She is only dreaming about writing. Every now and then I pop out some little thing, just enough to share with a small cluster of family and friends and get that "Oh, you should be writing more!" out of them. Then I put my pen back in the jar by the phone, and go wash the dishes.
I'm with your husband, though; if you are working on your novel and not still daydreaming about it, you are a writer. Being published is just icing on the cake!
I most definitely do call myself a writer. I blog regularly, I write (and sell) murder mystery plays, and I'm working on a novel too. Even before I sold my first play, I called myself a writer because it is an intrinsic part of who I am. I've worked as a secretary, a PA, a barmaid, but they were only a tiny part of 'me'. The writer part goes much more deeper.
You're a writer too.
This is an interesting topic; those titles we give ourselves. I think more than anything it is about confidence. It is easy to have confidence when a publisher or a magazine call you their "writer". Just like when you've been given a title by your company and you see it in print on your door plaque or your business card. Half of being a writer is believing you are...the other half is acting like you are. For years I was barely getting paid anything (let's be honest, I'm still barely paid anything) but I was also reluctant about the title I gave myself. Then I printed out my writing business cards. They had my name and "writer" listed for my title. I didn't have that many places to hand them out, but when I would send out query letters or proposals, my "writer's" card was always in the packet. It is only recently I have been able to introduce myself as a writer...even without the comfort of my little card. It comes, but it is slow, and I guess the older I get the more I realize that it matters most what I think, and since I don't have to think about it because I KNOW I am a writer, it is easier and easier to introduce myself as that.
Your husband is right...you ARE a writer, and it doesn't matter whether anyone else thinks that, it matters what you think!
I totally agree with Susan's comments and many others--if you are writing, you're a writer. Writing and publishing really are two different things: writing comes from us, we're the driver, publishing (unless you self-publish) is an external condition over which we don't have a huge amount of control. Of course many of us feel the need to be "validated" by publishing creds, but if we try to keep that in the background and focus on the writing, then we're in a good place.
I also call myself a wanna-be writer. I’ve been working on a novel for a little more than a year, and I’m currently stuck in edit/re-edit mode. Considering the time, and my dedication to it, I certaintly hope to one day call myself a Writer. My biggest dilemma, however, is sharing my work, and this, I know is a problem. That’s why I’ve adopted the Moana Brantwood pseudonym. I can’t imagine what the ‘school mums’ might say if they actually read a few choice chapters. Aghast, is a word that comes to mind! I’m certain it would fuel their afternoon gossip sessions – although I wonder if the horror and erotica of it all would quietly tickle them - while no one is watching, of course.
To publish or not to publish – that is the question.
I am also in the same catagory if people ask and they will definitely ask "what do you do for a living or work"? I will respond with the same response your husband mentioned. Just make it clear that you are active in your pursuit of writing, be prepared for negative remarks, as they are offending. People often criticize what they don't know or understand, many a time when people decide to take the plunge whether they have the financial backing or not, it really is a lack of education on the other persons behalf to not feel a little half hearted about how hard it is to want to work in the area that you love.
Considering there are many occupations that cover a particular subject, and in doing research it comprimises everything one does;from time mangement to getting things prepared amongst the stratergies used to run your home that are also part of business. There are very little inbetweens, but this is definitely one of them.