When I meet new people online through Twitter or blogs, I usually read their profile pages. I find people fascinating and think it’s fun to get to know them. Sometimes profiles reveal intriguing things I want to know more about. But there’s one self-description I read on profiles all the time, and frankly, it’s disturbing. You’ve probably seen it. I’ve seen it more times than I can count. It’s only two words and that’s one word too many. This is the description:
People, we’re not aspiring writers. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing, or how well you write. If you engage in creating the written word, no matter what you write, be it novels, short stories, articles, picture books, or whatever, you ARE a writer. There’s no aspiring about it.
Perhaps you don’t submit your writing for publication. If you’d like to be a paid writer, the submitting part is important. If you prefer to keep it to yourself, that’s your decision. But to be a writer doesn’t require that you submit. It doesn’t matter if your closest friend or lover is the only one who ever reads your writing. Once you make that heartfelt commitment to start down the writing path, you are a writer.
Many writers are shy about proclaiming they write because they aren’t published yet. That’s where the aspiring often comes into a description. I say, “Pshaw.” (It’s a strange word I happen to like.)
Drop the adjective “aspiring” and declare yourself a writer. Once you think of yourself as a writer, you begin to live the writing life. It becomes your reality. You begin to make time for your writing and make it a priority, because it’s what you do and part of who you are. Others will see you as a writer.
Even when you’ve fallen off your writing schedule because life has gotten in the way, (which life tends to do,) that doesn’t mean you’re no longer a writer. Just sit back down in front of that computer and go at it again. If you need to, paste a sign on the wall over your computer that reads, “I am a writer.” Paste it on your bathroom mirror where you’ll see it every morning. Write the words on a piece of paper and lay it on your pillow so you see it before you go to sleep at night. All day long, let that be your mantra. You are a writer.
We ROWers are writers.
Together, we are ROWing toward success.