Thursday, June 29, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Author Mindset: Admitting it is the First Step by Dyan Chick

The Write Way Café welcomes Dyan Chick, author of Heir of Illaria, a Young Adult fantasy, with advice about not being a closet writer.

You are a Writer.

When you decide to take writing seriously, like for real, move forward with your work and finish a manuscript seriously, you have to tell people.

I know, I know. It’s scary. If you tell people, they might want to (gasp) actually read your book. Two things: First, most people will say they want to read your book, but they never will. Second, what were you planning to do with the finished manuscript anyway?

If your answer is to lock it in a drawer and never look at it again, you can stop reading this right now. This post isn’t for you. You are a closet writer, a hobbyist, and that’s totally fine. If you write for yourself and you never want to share with the world, go for it. You gotta do you. However, if you are reading this, there is a good chance you want to get your writing out there in the world. You want somebody to read your book. If that’s the case, you have to tell people that you are a writer.

What?! Did she say I have to call myself a writer? Why, yes, yes she did. Are you writing? If the answer to that question is yes, then you are a writer. Admitting it is the first step. Seriously. You need to put it out there. That doesn’t mean you have to blast it all over social media - though you could. Or start small, tell somebody, anybody. Just put it out there. Call your mom, your best friend, your co-worker. Once other people know you are a writer, they’ll start asking you about your writing. And once you start telling people you are a writer, you might just start believing that you are a writer.

I know it’s hard - though I’m not sure why. There’s something about calling yourself a writer that we all struggle with. Even bestselling authors struggle with this - you are not alone.

I wrote in secret for years. Since childhood. I didn’t think anybody knew I was writing. It was quite a surprise to be given the “most likely to be published” award at the cheesy 7th-grade award ceremony. I didn’t even know my teachers knew. But they could see me making notes and filling notebooks. It’s just part of who I am. And I have a feeling it’s part of who you are, too.

Despite writing on and off most of my adult life, it took years for me to admit it out loud. So when I finally felt brave enough to do it, I posted a picture on Facebook of my pages from my first critique group. They were all marked up but for some reason, the fact that I was going to a critique group gave me the strength to admit that I was a writer. It was well-received by my friends, many of whom had known me for years and had no clue I wrote.

Let me tell you, admitting it is the hardest part. Once it’s out there, once you believe you are a writer, magical things start to happen. I made that Facebook post in April. By the following April, I had written 3 full novels and a novella. Magical.

Heir of Illaria, Book One of the Illaria Series

In Illaria, there is a fate worse than death.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been taught to fear the Necromancer King. He controls the kingdom of Illaria with dark sorcery and the constant threat of his undead army. I never thought I’d have reason to cross his path. Everything changed the day his guards tried to kill me. That’s when I found out my whole life has been a lie. By joining a resistance group called the White Ravens, I’ve claimed new roles. Princess of Illaria, sorceress in training, and threat to the Necromancer King.


Dyan Chick is the author of Illaria Series, a YA fantasy. By day, she teaches high school art and history. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. Music is always on in the background while writing, and often while teaching. She has a love of art, travel, and superheroes. When not writing, she enjoys spending time at museums, watching movies, and getting outside to explore Colorado.

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RT Wolfe said...

Dear Fellow Former Closet Author,
Love, love, love your post!
-R.T. Wolfe

HiDee said...

This is a great post, Dyan. Thank you for prodding those of us who need it!

Charmaine Gordon said...

Delicious post and oh so charming. Best to you, not in closet, no way.

Wendy Howard said...

Especially love the part about the critique group. ;-) Great post!