You Are A Writer by Suzanne Pitner

 

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:

Aspiring Writer

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.

~*~

Suzanne Pitner

22 comments

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. There are too many obstacles that are standing in the way of the self-published writer, and our own mindset should not be one of them.

    I call myself a writer, because I am, I talk with other writers, some published, some not, and as you say, be they unpublished through choice, or because their work is not yet complete it makes no difference. A writer is a writer.

    A police officer in training isn’t an aspiring police officer, a sportsman isn’t an aspiring sportsman just because he doesn’t play for the biggest team.

    Once we get past this self critical label, the door opens and the world really is our oyster.

  2. Suzanne, what a wonderful, and inspiring post. I’m guilty of this very thing! I believe you are right… If I label myself as an “Aspiring Writer”, I won’t ever FEEL like a writer. I’m going to change that today!
    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Tami

  3. It took me a while to come out of the closet and admit to being a writer. I had tried it a couple of times, and the reaction was enthusiasm, until I said I didn’t have anything published that they could read. Then I felt that I had let them down somehow.
    So I decided, if I think I’m a writer, then act like one. So I started doing short story challenges, editing my novels, reading (books and online) about writing and editing, and carrying a notebook for ideas and observations of life around me. And joined up with ROW80 to nudge it all along. And lo and behold – “writer” started to feel more like a part of who I was.
    To top it off, I put some of those short stories online, and some friends read them and told me that I was a GOOD writer, and that they wanted to see more stories. Even longer ones.

  4. If not my first post as a ROWer, it was my second on which you commented. I had just launched my blog and to have your encouragement meant so much. As the round nears its end, I am more confident as a blogger and a writer. Truly, thank you.

    Karen

  5. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m a writer!” I have a pretty good bit of self-confidence, so I’ve never really had problems with this. Except for the people in my life that have no clue and I want it to stay that way for reasons I won’t go into, but it’s not because I don’t believe I’m a writer. If you write, you’re a writer. That’s what you do.🙂 As Kait said in a past post…own it.

  6. Thanks for the encouraging post. I don’t consider myself an aspiring writer but more a writer in training. Probably sounds just as dumb. I’m working on the confidence part to own it, claim it. Getting there.

    1. No, I don’t think that sounds dumb. We’re all in training, all the time. I wonder if we can ever say we’re done learning when it comes to writing? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say I know it all. Thanks to people like the ones on ROW80 we can all learn from one another.

  7. It was hard when I first started introducing myself to people as a writer. You meet someone, trade names, shake hands, and they ask, “So what do you do?” *gulp* “I’m a writer,” you answer, with a tremulous tone. But I managed it, and after a while, it became NBD (no big deal). “I’m a writer who has written two books, working on my third, not published yet.” People get it. You are so right! I’m not aspiring, I’m doing. Great advice!

  8. This is such an amazingly, spectaculariffic post.. if you lived closer I would sneak in your house and hug you for an hour!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, yeah, that was a little weird.. but hey!! This is great… A lot of writers need to know this.😀

  9. Thank you. I love this. I thought for many years it was “too late” for me to start writing again. I forgot that in order to write, you have to read too. And I never allowed myself to read anything. When I read, it made me cry. When people said “You should write” it made me cringe. It never occurred to me until less than 2 months ago, that once I wrote the first word, I was already and always a writer.
    LOVE IT!
    The Cockroach Kisser

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