There’s no such thing as an aspiring writer

How to Be a Writer: IntroductionIf you say you’re an aspiring writer, stop. There’s no such thing as an aspiring writer. If you write, you’re a writer. Aspiring writer makes as little sense as slightly pregnant. You are or you aren’t.

But you may be saying, “How can I consider myself a writer if I haven’t published anything?” Or, “I’m not good enough to call myself a real writer.” If you still need convincing that you are a real writer, read on.

Publishing is no longer a roadblock to becoming a writer. Today, it’s easy to get your words out to the public. If you have a blog, social media, or Medium account, you’re already a published author. Have a book? Publish it. We all dream of being selected by a publishing house and getting on the New York Times bestseller list, but you’re no less of a writer because you published on Lulu or CreateSpace. Your book will show up on Amazon all the same.

What if you don’t consider yourself good enough? Even the most experienced and successful of us have doubts at times. Mastering a craft requires you to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow from the experience. And if you’re learning by writing, that makes you a writer. You don’t have to complete an apprenticeship or earn a specific degree before you call yourself a writer.

In fact, you need to call yourself a writer to gain the skills you need.

When you call yourself a writer, you are motivated to put in the work and learn your craft. You’ll take courses, go to conferences, watch relevant YouTube videos, and read because you’re committed to your vocation. More importantly, you’ll make writing a commitment. If you consider being a writer a goal you have not yet achieved, you might put off writing because you don’t feel qualified to do it. And if you write and get rejected, you’ll give up because you feel it’s something that’s just not meant to be.

If you want to achieve a goal, claim it. Don’t say you’re an aspiring writer. Say you are a writer and write.