Do you dream of writing whilst you struggle to put pen to paper? When you type characters, words and phrases, do they swim around incomprehensibly on the screen?
I’m guessing the answer is no. I reckon that if you’re reading this, the chances are, that you can actually write. You might not be a bestselling author or shortlisted for any prizes, you might even be terrified of sharing your work for other people to read at the moment… but you are a writer.
It took me a long time to be able to tell people with confidence that I’m a writer. In the past, when people asked me what I do, I always told them how I made money, (still not primarily from writing), or that I was an aspiring writer. I’ve since come to loathe the title ‘aspiring writer’ though, it invalidates what I do. The ‘aspiring’ is like a security blanket that covers the writing and belittles it in some way.
You can aspire to be a great writer, a published writer, or even a professional freelance writer. You should be aspiring to be a better writer. But you’re not an ‘aspiring writer’.
Most writers at some stage in their journey will feel a sense of crippling self-doubt. Writers are creative beings and of course not everyone will love everything we write, all of the time, but that’s okay! We should all aspire to improve our writing and I’m sure even the greats would agree that we can always keep learning.
Although I’ve been published and have a book on the shelves in bookstores, I haven’t published the novel that I’ve always dreamed of publishing. I haven’t even finished it… yet. Does that mean I’m successful or unsuccessful? I think that depends on how we measure success. I’m still writing my novel and that’s what I’m happy doing, because I’m a writer.
Writing isn’t about one publishing feat defining you. Being a writer is a way of life, a part of who you are. So own it. Make sure you proudly tell the next person who asks, ‘I’m a writer’. You get bonus points if you offer the information without being asked!
Next week I’ll be starting a Blog to Book series detailing how my first book got discovered and published by Bloomsbury. Please feel free to ask any burning questions in the comments and I’ll try and answer them in the series.
Now stop procrastinating with this post and get back to writing!
Wishing you Sandy Toes with no Writer Woes,