Own it, baby. Work it! by Sandie Docker

This week’s guest poster is the lovely Sandie Docker who discusses being a writer. Enjoy 🙂

Own it, baby. Work it!

by Sandie Docker

“So, what do you do?”

A simple question. One, unless you’re a spy, that is answered easily.

Except it isn’t.

It’s a question that fills me with dread. Because what I am, is a writer. But I’m an unpublished writer so to answer that most simple of questions I feel like a complete fraud if I answer with the truth. I have no books out in the world. I don’t get paid to write.

There is no tangible proof of what I do (other than my manuscripts languishing in various slush piles waiting to find a home).

And even though I write every day (nearly), and I do courses which in other circles would be considered ‘professional development’, and I’m chasing my dream with query letter after query letter, and all those memes out there tell me that if I write I’m a writer, it still feels wrong to say it out loud. “I’m a writer.”


So most of the time I avoid the topic altogether. “What do you do?” I’m a stay at home mum.

“Do you work?” I teach swimming on the weekends. ‘Name, age, occupation?’ Sandie, forty-two, mother. It’s like I’m embarrassed to say I’m a writer.

Like I’m hiding some deep dark secret about my life. Not because writing is an embarrassing pursuit, but because of that whole aforementioned fraud thing.

That if I say I’m a writer and they ask further questions, I’ll get found out that really, I’m a hack who happens to scribble down a few words every now and then, the quality of which is yet to be determined.

Two and a half full-length manuscripts, quite a bit of interest, some industry insider validation, a pile of rejections and a notebook bursting with ideas for future novels later, and I still get queasy if I even think of declaring “I’m a writer.”

Except for the other day.

I was speaking at my daughter’s school kindy orientation, and I mentioned in my speech that I’m often in the playground if anyone ever has questions because I “work from home”. Oh, I was so clever – in my heart staying true to myself, admitting, proclaiming in public I was a writer, but with none of my unsuspecting audience actually knowing what I was referring to. Haha! I did it. I did it and I was safe.

Except I wasn’t.

Because there was morning tea after the orientation, and they took me up on my offer of asking me questions anytime, and one of them asked me, “so what it is you do from home?” There was nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.

And I wasn’t about to lie because what other ‘work-from-home job’ could I realistic pass for? So I did it. I answered. “I’m a writer”. I embraced it and said it proud.

Except I didn’t.

I followed it immediately with a mumble of “not yet published” accompanied with a shameful look and then quickly changed the subject.

So, I guess I’m going to have to live with my feelings of fraud a little longer and retreat back into avoiding that question ‘what do you do?’, because clearly I’m not ready to say it loud and proud.

Clearly, in my own mind, until I’m published, there will remain a block that tells me I’m not a writer.

Except I am.


About Sandie Docker

sandie-dockerSandie is a writer (aspiring *wink*) of contemporary women’s fiction set in small Australian communities.

She came to writing quite by accident after her university Mandarin lecturer suggested she take up writing on the back of a translation course she was doing at the time.

That idea sat quietly at the back of her mind for quite some time before she decided to do anything about it, but once she put pen to paper (yes, she writes everything the old fashioned way before hitting a keyboard), she knew there was nothing else she wanted to do with her life.

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In the quiet town of Kookaburra Creek, 38-year-old Alice Pond enters her café expecting the morning to be like every other of the past 20 years. But asleep on her pantry floor is a young homeless girl with familiar eyes. A girl with the power to open old scars. A girl who might just offer Alice a second chance at the life so cruelly taken from her.

Long-buried memories resurface and Alice is 18 again with plans to escape a broken childhood and her neglectful father tormented by guilt. She works, she saves, she studies. But with the arrival of new boy Dean McRae and his ability to see right into the truth of her heart, distraction jeopardises those plans. When her father disappears, taking all of her savings with him, Alice is left with no option but to flee Lawson’s Ridge – broke, alone, pregnant.

When fire tears through her world, Alice is forced to face the truth of her past and present – of love lost and love found, of a life taken and one saved, and of painful secrets that could destroy her chance at happiness.

~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Firstly, apologies to Sandie and my readers for the delay to get this post up. I hope you enjoyed this post and do make sure you check out Sandie’s social media pages.

Secondly, big thanks to Sandie for being this week’s guest poster and sharing her experiences and the blurb of her current manuscript 🙂

There may not be a post this Friday as I’m finding myself a little swamped right now. But I’ll do my best.

Happy Writing


NB: pictures supplied by the guest poster.

12 thoughts on “Own it, baby. Work it! by Sandie Docker

  1. I always tell people if you write, you’re a writer. I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve “made it” in this field, seriously! But after you say, “I’m a writer,” the next question is always, “What do you write?” Then, the inevitable, “Where are you published? Can I read your work?” So much pressure. But I say own it. If you say it with confidence, people will believe in you as much as you do!

    1. Thanks for your comment Stephanie. That’s always my worry when I say “I’m a writer”, people always assume I mean published writer and start asking all these questions. And when I say, well I’m not published yet there’s this nice awkwardness. But I’ve decided to push through it and just embrace the awkward 😀

  2. Mishell Currie

    Love this Ms Docker!! You ARE a writer, just very unappreciated at the moment! I’ve had the privilege of reading both of Sandies novels & I just don’t get it!! As an avid reader of most genres (sorry sci-fi & fantasy fans) I’ve read many published novels that just aren’t as well written & don’t have me welling up of 2 & on the edge of my seat pg 15 (not a prerequisite to a good book but a bonus nonetheless) & don’t have me NEEDING to know what happens after the last chapter closes. So back to my “I just don’t get it” comment.. why hasn’t a publisher snapped up the novels & why aren’t they on the shelves this Christmas????

  3. Mishell Currie

    Love this Ms Docker!! I’ve had the privilege of reading both of Sandies unpublished works & I just don’t get it … As an avid reader of almost all genres (sorry sci-fi & fantasy fans) I’ve read MANY published authors who don’t leave me with that “I just HAVE to know what happens to that character after the last chapter ends” feeling I get with Sandies work … it’s just lovely & I love a book that has me welling up 2pgs in & on the edge of my seat at pg 20… going back to my “I just don’t get it” comment … how is it Sandies books haven’t been snapped up & on the shelves for this Christmas??? You are a writer!! Just a very unappreciated one at the moment!!

  4. Hearing you loud and clear, Sandie! But your writing is so beautifully evocative it’s definitely only a matter of time until you can invest in the t-shirt that proclaims the title: “I AM a writer!”
    A thought, though….if you don’t want to/can’t announce as a writer (yet), why don’t you twist it a little, and claim the title of an editor/critique?

    1. Thanks Leonie. And umm – t-shirt – oh yes! I so need to get one of those when the time comes. I should have sent you one instead of the hamper.

      And I like the way you think. Given writing is mostly editing, that wouldn’t be a lie. And you wouldn’t get those awkward followup questions!

  5. Pingback: Special Guest Star | Sandie Docker

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