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The Key Thing Aspiring Writers Need to Do to Become Legit

Carol Tice

Do you feel like you can’t call yourself a pro writer right now?

If you introduce yourself to people as an aspiring writer, I want to help you change that today. Yes, by the end of this post.

Insecurity is sort of a pandemic in the writer community.

We never feel like we’ve got enough clips yet.

Or enough expertise to write on some topic we’d like to do.

We’re not old enough.

Or our novel hasn’t been published.

We only write copy, and that doesn’t “count.”

Maybe you’ve only written on your own blog and never gotten paid yet.

The conclusion we draw from all these situations is that we’re not ‘there’ yet. We’re not legit.

The litmus test for writers

I had an insight about this issue of aspiring versus “real” writers at Surrey International Writers Conference, where I was a presenter recently.

One of the keynote speeches was given by novelist Susanna Kearsley.

She asked the audience, “Do you write?”

All heads nodded.

She replied, “Then you’re not an aspiring writer. You’re a writer!”

Aspiring writers are the people who sit watching TV or playing Mafia Wars, all the while saying, “One day, I want to write that novel!”

If you’re sitting your butt in the chair and getting it done, you’re a writer.

If you’re lying there at night when you should be sleeping with ideas for stories racing through your head, you’re a writer.

How to stop aspiring

Kearsley begged the audience to remove the word “aspiring” from their vocabulary.

And if you’re a writer, you should do it.

When people ask, say, “I’m a writer.”

Remember, the marketplace is not the judge of whether you’re a writer.

Think of all the writers whose work was never discovered until after they died. Were they not writers?

Of course they were.

It’s just if you’re doing it.

If you are, you’re a writer.

Are you a writer, or an aspiring writer? Leave a comment and tell us how you view yourself, in light of this post.