Never belittle what you do because you’re worried about getting a stamp of approval. If you’re a writer, say you’re a writer. And say it with confidence. That goes for anything you choose to do or be in life.
Recently, I was reading posts from a chick who is working on a book. She talked about outlining the plot, the character development and the extensive research she conducts. She had written over 150 pages and was planning to write about 200 more.
It sounded like she was putting a lot into this project and dedicated to seeing it through. But guess what? She said she isn’t a writer. At least not yet, because she hasn’t published a book.
My question for people like this is, when do you arrive? Which mile marker do you need to pass to be a writer? Is it when the book is finished? When it’s listed for sale? Or, not until it has sold 50,000 copies?
But more importantly, who wants to read a book that wasn’t written by a writer? I don’t. Especially not if I have to pay for it.
I don’t. Especially not if I have to pay for it.
Imagine as a freelancer looking for my first assignment, I met a potential client who said, so you’re a freelancer writer?
And imagine I replied, Well sir, I’m actually not a writer yet but I will be after you give me an assignment and pay me.
Does that make any sense? Do you really expect me to find work with that approach?
Why would a person who walks the walk, talks the talk and does the work avoid putting a title on it? For the same reason people write and create things then claim their work really isn’t that good; it’s FEAR!
When you belittle your efforts and distance yourself from firm terms about your work, you’re being a coward. You’re encouraging people to lower their expectations because you don’t think you’ll measure up.
You’re worried that you will have to justify your statements as people bombard you with doubtful looks and questions. You don’t want to be asked where you’ve been published, whether you’ve written books, and if so, where those books are sold. You’re afraid your answers aren’t impressive enough.
You’re worried people may ask to see your work or go find it and compare it to other people’s work. They may measure your progress and your accomplishments against someone else’s, and in the end, dismiss you as insignificant.
When you think about what you’re scared of, it’s really silly. You’re scared that you haven’t succeeded yet. You’re intimidated that there are already people farther down the road, that others have come before you.
There’s always someone who has done more, done better, is better known or held in higher esteem. There always will be. So what? It doesn’t matter. That doesn’t change your reality.
An office, book sales, fans–those are not the things that make you a writer. Writing makes you a writer. Your commitment to continue makes you a writer.
Being new or unpublished is a stage, not a curse, not an insult. Every business takes time to build and every career involves a climb. If you’re on the bottom rung, so be it. Claim your place, grace that first step and rise.