We Americans love to ask what others do for a living. I first noticed this while living abroad when people didn't ask me this question. Upon meeting someone for the first time, they would more likely inquire about my interests and passions rather than what I did for a living. I think that is when I first began thinking outside of this box.
The question, "What do you do?" seems horribly confining to me. I can imagine my father replying, "I'm an accountant." But as I play many roles in life, I can't imagine being reduced to a single answer that defines what I do. I'm an entrepreneur, marketer, father, spiritual teacher, coach, blogger, thinker, tinkerer, lover, son, believer and writer.
Oh you meant, "What do I do to make money?"
I've never been really good at answering that question as is evident by my family's inability to describe what I do for a living. To my inlaws, I'm in computers. To my friends, I'm professionally unemployed which is a cute way to describe being a marketing consultant. And despite my wife being highly intelligent, if you asked her this question she would stumble to provide an answer that accurately describes what I do for a living. All in all, your description of what I do has more to do with how you see me than it does with what I actually do.
And, like you, the answer I want to give is, "I'm a writer." But my lifestyle hardly evokes the imagery we all come up with when we envision being a writer. Yes, I've written and published a book. And people I don't know have actually purchased and presumably read my book. But while this technically establishes me as a writer, my accountant Father would be hard pressed to enter this into the occupation field on my tax return.
Very few people seem to like their jobs and something about this negativity towards work makes avoid checking the writer box in the occupation field. It seems to me that the creative expression of writing smacks in the face of working for a living. Somehow the dream of writing for a living never seems to include deadlines, writers block, self promotion, editing, and pandering for reviews. The chasm between my passion and my job is wide and I'm not sure I want to cross it.
So, for now, I'm just going to agree with my inlaws that I'm in computers. When they start saying He's a writer, then I'll start checking that box on my tax return. Until then, writing is my passion rather than my job and I think I like it that way.