Why It's Time to Finally Call Yourself a Writer

Thursday, July 05, 2018
Recently, I was browsing through Facebook (aka not writing) and came across a post from someone that started with four familiar words, 'I'm an aspiring writer..." I wondered what makes us say we're "aspiring" when we refer to ourselves as writers. I decided then to deliver an important announcement to all of those aspiring writers out there. Now, if everyone who refers to themselves as aspiring, would you please have a seat.

Whether or not you are published, whether you type out your novels, stories, and articles on a MacBook Pro or a paper napkin, whether you write at night while everyone is asleep or at your day job during down time, whether you write about dragons or gardening, if you are writing, you are a writer.

I know for a long time I thought of myself as merely aspiring because I hadn't been officially published. Several years ago, I made an announcement on my personal writing blog that yes, I am a writer. It was a tough acceptance initially. All of that self doubt rushed forward. Those questions came up from the anti-muse, "Am I really a writer though? Just like, sort of right? Not REALLY a writer, but a little bit of one?" No, I told myself, I am a writer. Real life writer.

If you've ever muttered the words aspiring when referring yourself as a writer, today I challenge you to call yourself a writer. No longer an aspiring one. A real writer. Because you are. Say it to the lady who works at the cleaners. Say it to your coworker while you both eat lunch in the break room. Say it to the teenager bagging your groceries. Say it to your family when you are all sitting down for dinner. Say it to the bus driver. Most importantly, say it to yourself. Go to the mirror (or nearest reflection) and say it out loud. Go ahead, do it. It'll feel a bit weird at first, I promise you. You'll be in denial even as you say it.  But say it again. One more time until you really mean it.

Now, when you sit down to write next time, you'll know it's for real. You are a writer. Why? It isn't because you are on the bestsellers list. It isn't because you got that article finally published in Vogue or New York Times. It's because you are writing. And it's time you finally accept it.

Follow Nicole Pyles at her writing and book blog The World of My Imagination or on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.


Angela Mackintosh said...

I actually surprised myself a couple days ago when a cable guy came out and asked what I did for a living. I said, "I'm a writer." It's not what I usually say (I usually say I own two businesses, and then go into detail), but I'd just come from a writing session and it's what I felt. Honestly, it was so much simpler to explain and it felt great! I guess I usually don't say it because it's not where the majority of my income comes from, although I'd like change that.

Your advice about saying it into the mirror is great because affirmations work. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--Your reminder hit home. I'll put down "writer" in blog bios, but almost always I'll say "writer" when asked in person.

Why don't I say, "I'm a writer and a teacher"? Perhaps I will now, after reading your post.

Nicole Pyles said...

@Angela - that is so awesome! And what a confidence boost too! One day and one day soon, I hope I get the chance to do the same.

@Sioux - Oh I hope you do! It's so easy for me to put it on my social media profiles but when in person, I get nervous and uncertain! I would love to take my own advice and change that!

ChristiRSuzanne said...

I like this perspective! I just started a monthly Q and A with "aspiring authors" blog post. This is making me rethink the title... maybe I need to take out the "aspiring" part.

Nicole Pyles said...

@Christi! OH I love it! I just checked out your blog too and it looks fun, I'm a new follower! It's a brave step forward to call yourself a writer but it's so important!

Renee Roberson said...

All great points, Nicole. You know what I have a tendency to do? I will acknowledge to people that I'm a writer, but I'll often preface it with "But I don't make a lot of money doing it!" Now why do that? From now on I'm going to leave it at "I'm a writer" and maybe throw in a few places I've been published for extra measure.

ChristRSuzanne said...

@Nicole, thanks for the follow!

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