When are you Allowed to Call Yourself a Writer?

posted Mar 12, 2019, 3:47 PM by David Alan Binder

When are you Allowed to Call Yourself a Writer?

This is from a fellow writer, Rebecca Monterusso:

“Is there a certain level of accomplishment you must reach? A number of days, months, years you have to have written? At what point are you allowed to say you're a writer and leave out the clarifying "aspiring" or "wannabe" you might think is appropriate?

You are a writer when you say you are. 

No one else can define you. The only thing that makes you a writer is that you write (and not even that you write every day or write a certain type of story). Not the book deals, the agents, the bestsellers lists. Not that others read what you write and approve of it. Writers write, and that's it. 

Part of being a writer is the confidence, the belief in yourself that you are one.  

But, but, but

But I haven't published anything. But I don't write every day. But I feel like a fraud. But, but, but, but, but...

Maybe you do feel like an imposter. Maybe you'll never feel like you deserve the title. Maybe the clarifiers feel safe. 

But...

What other people think, how they respond to you, shouldn't define how you see yourself. Trying to keep yourself safe, for whatever reason, will not actually keep you safe. Someone outside of your experience may never understand what it means to be you, so stop giving those fears power. Stop giving yourself a pass at being a writer. Saying you're an 'aspiring' writer rather than just a writer, doesn't make it any easier. In fact, it might even make it harder. 

The truth is, you aren't safer with a clarifier. If you're going to be a writer, own it. The sooner you do, the more time you can spend actually doing the work. 

So own the title. You are a writer.”

 

What are you waiting for, DO IT!

 

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