This Is Keeping You From Being a Writer

I’ve been writing for over fourteen years. That’s half of my life. In the last seven years, I have written novels, short stories, scripts, published articles online and offline, so to speak.

I have rarely used to words ” wannabe” or “aspiring.” As a matter of fact, most of my friends know me as “the writer.” Not a writer, not just a writer, but THE writer.

This may seem like a simple thing, but it makes all the difference – if you want others to take your work seriously.

This begs the question:

What do writers do that the rest don’t?


They believe in themselves.

They write with confidence, without making excuses or apologies.

And if you’re going to do work that’s worth anything, you’re going to have to do the same. Even if at first you have to fake it.

You’re going to have to call yourself the writer.

When just a writer becomes the writer

“Just” a writer writes once in a while. When it’s convenient, when they feel like it, when the planets align in just the right way. They keep telling themselves all sorts of stories about why writing is not that important, why they do not care about fame, glory, money, while they procrastinate in a myriad of creative ways.

When you know you are the writer, when you define yourself, when writing is tied to your ego, then you must write. Good day or bad day, you must sit at your desk and write.

Try it.  Call yourself “the writer.” A real one, not a wannabe. And all kinds of amazing things happened: guest posts, book deals, invitations to write for magazines, — all because you have the inner fortitude to define yourself.

Why does this little trick work:

  1. It gives you confidence. Nobody wants to read work that an amateur writes. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t believe in himself. Calling yourself the writer helps you do just that.
  2. It makes your work better. Believe it or not, confidence matters. A lot, Not just for your self-esteem, but for the quality of work you do. When you start calling yourself something, you raise the stakes. You call your own bluff.
  3. It makes other people believe it, too. Unfortunately, we live in a world obsessed with titles. When you tell people, “Writing is just something I do on the side…” you sabotage yourself before you get a chance to prove yourself. Calling yourself a writer is an invitation to the world to take you seriously. It helps you get paid.

So what are you waiting for?

Time to call yourself the writer — and actually believe it.

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34 thoughts on “This Is Keeping You From Being a Writer

  1. Finding confidence is, I think, one of the hardest parts of writing. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, and that even includes ridiculous comparisons like your first ever first draft to a Stephen King’s thirtieth of fortieth novel that had an army of proofreaders, editors, and marketers behind it.

  2. Cristian, I loved the ‘old-fashion typewriter picture’ you chose for your blog. Thank god we now have the computer or laptop to assist us writers with grammar, spelling and adding images. As you know, all those things may make writing easier and less laborious, but attitude, fortitude and confidence, it does not. What I cherish most is my will power to be successful. Over a year ago I promised myself I would write a blog post once a week on http://www.tgifmasterminds.com and so far I have kept that promise. I totally agree with you. I am calling myself “…the writer of Conversations With God Using Scripture. Thanks for the validation.

  3. Or you could buy a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and Bukowski your way to the best seller list. Ink is a liquid, LCD’s are liquid…so inspiration and courage must also be liquid. Careful though…not too much courage…now…cause…not every publishing house will understand that showing up naked, to punch the editor, while claiming to be the reincarnation of Walt Whitman is just part of your creative process.

    Jokes aside…I’ve always believed that if you write with the purpose of being read then you are a writer. Though till I publish something that makes money it’ll remain difficult to tell people I’m a writer.

    I guess a good way to get over this is to think your way through it:

    This hangup about your work supporting you financially is odd. If you replace your transmission yourself, and the car runs… then are you any less of a mechanic than the guy with the business card?

  4. Best advice I ever had was from Michael learner the head of Commonweal and one of the founders of the Cancer Help Program – he said to me – Ilene call yourself a writer because that’s exactly what you are.
    So I do. And I am. And I improved immediately.

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