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Why I can finally say, ‘I’m a Writer’

After my last corporate HR contract finished almost three years ago, I came to the decision that I would not look for another job in HR. I was not contributing a lot to our finances as most of my earnings were invested in childcare. My husband supported my decision, and I hung up my disciplinary/recruitment/general giver of bad news coat. Instead of HR, I focussed on being a full-time mum and writing the book I always possessed a yearning to start. What could be so difficult about that?

Challenging in different ways

Yet I did, (be prepared for a cliché), follow my dream to become a writer. While I found working in HR and managing two children difficult, being a full-time mum and writer was also challenging. I strived to write a best seller but struggled to finish the book because time did not allow. Demotivation and a severe lack of confidence regularly came knocking. Writing is an isolated occupation. It took adjustment to transition from a job where I was interacting with people all day to sitting at the kitchen table alone staring at a screen and willing the words to flow.


At first, it felt like a lie, a misrepresentation, to tell others I was a writer. What gave me the right to trespass upon such a wonderful profession? I cared what people thought too much. When asked whether I worked, I felt inadequate, spoilt even, for responding that I was a full-time mum. I lacked the confidence to assert that I was a writer. I was worried about telling people I was a writer because they would challenge or judge me. Perhaps it was my paranoia and expectation that to be a success I had to be earning in the city. It was all I knew.

Feeling inadequate

When you’re skilled at something, and you have confirmation that you’re good at it, it brings confidence. After working in HR for over a decade, I was confident about how to manage people-related work situations and how to develop in my career. Starting as a writer, I lacked self-confidence because I had absolutely no idea if I was any good at it. I was (and still can be) shy about my work.

Pay equals confidence

The stanch independence of being a successful career woman didn’t change when I became a writer. My values and need to be successful in a career did not evaporate. So, I worked hard looking after my children and writing a novel, but it wasn’t until I earned money that I began to feel successful. When I started paid ghost writing I felt credible enough to tell people: I’m a writer. Earning money shouldn’t have given me the self-assurance to confirm my new occupation but being paid provided the confirmation that I was succeeding.

Hard work pays off

Now, after various writing courses, experience, paid and published work, I have the confidence I so desperately required. I have worked hard to retrain. The job is flexible, so I can work around the children. I often write in the evenings because I am passionate about writing and success. I have learned that you must take some risks and work hard because if you’re going to succeed in something, it doesn’t necessarily come easily.

My novel isn’t finalised to a state where I feel it is publishable, but I write every day. I also ensure that my writing projects are varied. So, I have changed my tune. Now if asked about my vocation I tell people: I am a writer. There are many guilty moments because I’m not contributing the same amount financially as I once did. As my husband keeps telling me, he couldn’t do what he does without me looking after the children. He also tells me that I am successful. As needy as it might make me, sometimes I just need that confirmation. It fits nicely with my writer identity.

Sarah Haselwood

Sarah is a Freelance Writer and Blogger at Sarah Haselwood writing Services. She is passionate about creating original, engaging and accurate content and has experience in blog and ghostwriting for a variety of businesses and individuals globally. Before she became a writer and mum, Sarah worked as an HR professional in London for over ten years. Her background in HR and coaching have given her the knowledge to cover related topics, and she has ghostwritten blogs on travel, health, fitness and education. She has her a blog, Corporate to Kids, which follows her journey from life in the corporate world of HR to the role of mother and writer. Last year she won the Telegraph ‘Just Back’ competition and she continues to edit her first novel.

One Response

  1. When is the time to say you are a writer? I feel as soon as you put pen to paper or finger tips to keyboard and produce words that you become a writer. Who can tell us otherwise? Validation is all very good, but why do we need others to tell us we are a writer? I love to write, I write for myself therefore I am a writer.

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