I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, but I wasn’t really sure how to say the thing I wanted to say without it sounding like a thirteen-year-old’s diary entry.
It’s pretty simple, but maybe you need to hear it anyway, because everybody need to hear it at some point.
You are a writer.
Or, put another way: don’t fall into the trap of listening to your own bullshit (or somebody else’s).
One of the reasons I desperately wanted to publish Every Time He Dies was because it is awesome, but also because I’ve had a writing advice blog for three years.
Yeah, I had some successes that gave me a bit of cred (degrees + publications), but I was yet to plant my contribution to literature flag.
I needed to published a book. My book.
Then I DID publish a book. I become an author. GO ME!
Then someone insinuated that I wasn’t “really” a writer because my novel was self-published, I’m not making a full-time living off one book (*insert confused face*), and I have a non-fiction blog.
All of that is 100% true, except for one tiny part …
It’s true that I chose to go indie and publish my own novel. You can read all the five star reviews here.
It’s also true that I have a non-fiction blog, you’re reading it right now.
What isn’t true is the ‘not a writer part.’
I am a writer because I wrote a book, I published it, and then other people (who aren’t related to me) bought it. Some even said some pretty nice stuff about it (thanks guys!).
Why am I sharing this?
Because maybe you’ve had someone tell you that you’re not a ‘real’ writer either.
Because sometimes, when people say this to us, we agree with them.
Because sometimes, people know how to reach into the darkest, stickiest parts of our soul and they intentionally/unintentionally hit the nail on our self-conscious heads.
Maybe you say this to yourself, ‘I’m not a real writer because x, y, z.’
But I want you to know something super important … you ready?
You are a writer if:
- You publish stories (traditional OR indie).
- You write stories.
- You write articles.
- You write essays.
- You keep a journal.
- You dedicate time to your creative practise.
- You think about stories while standing in line at the grocery store.
- You read passages of poetic prose a loud to your spouse, friend, or dog.
- You feel elated at the idea of being left alone in a room with a notebook and pen. For hours.
- You identify as a writer.
- You once seriously considered getting a typewriter tattooed on your derriere.
If you dedicate time in your life to creating SOMETHING with words (fiction or non), you, dear friend, are a writer.
So, go write something. A chapter, a scene, an essay, a book review, a blog post, a comment on Instagram, a tweet. Just write and be good at it. Or bad, that’s okay too. Just write because that’s what you do.
Need help finishing that short story, novel, memoir? No problem. The Follow-Through Formula is a free video training which unpacks the five strategies you can use to go from idea to completed project.
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