You know, I’ve been sitting around thinking. I do that sometimes. And what I was thinking about was writers and how often I hear the expression ‘ I’m an aspiring writer’.
Now I don’t want to be nit-picky, but how did this get started? I mean really, if you write you’re a writer. After all, ‘aspire’ means “to desire with eagerness; to long or work for advancement, honor, etc.” or “to rise or to ascend” according to Websters Dictionary.
So, if you write, you’re a writer. You’re not ‘longing for” or desiring with eagerness” or rising to”, you’re doing it. Now, how good a writer you may be I have no clue unless I read what you’ve written whether novel, script, short story or copy. But you’re still a writer.
Maybe it’s just me, but the statement “I’m an aspiring writer” just seems to make the person stating that something a bit less than what he or she intends to be.
Look, as a writer, you carve out time to write. You may have a full time job and a family, but still you find that time to write. Does that sound ‘aspiring’ to you? To me it sounds like you’ve taken concrete action and you’re writing. That makes you a Writer.
Perhaps those labeling themselves as ‘aspiring’ are actually holding themselves back. I mean at what point are you not ‘aspiring’? Do you have to be published? Have a script optioned? Have a script produced? Win a writing contest? Self Publish? Traditionally publish?
Do you have a marker for yourself as to when you’ll officially cross over that line into official ‘writerlyness’ or are you giving in to what other people think and believe?
I’ve been a Writer for many years, and I’ll tell you truthfully I’ve never considered myself ‘aspiring’. I’ve always seen myself as a Writer (yes, with a capital W). I started writing when I was 12 or 13 so I was a Writer and a student and later a Writer and a student and a part-time worker.
Then I graduated to being a Writer and a full-time worker. Now I’m a Writer full-time. You can check out my website at http://www.PeggyBechko.comif you like. My philosophy is, always put the ‘Writer’ first. If that’s what you want, what you intend to be, and you’re putting in the work, put it first.
What do I say if I tell someone I’m a writer and they ask me what I’ve published, you may ask. Does it matter what they think? Really, if you’re compelled to write, that’s what matters. Tell them what you feel comfortable in saying. Perhaps tell the person wherever you’ve sent your latest endeavor is considering it. Because, well, they are, no matter how deeply or briefly – you sent it, they’re considering it.
If you’ve published or optioned anything you can mention it. If you’re going to self-publish go ahead and say it; there are some great self publishers doing well these days.
Take pride in what you do and don’t let other people’s expectations get in the way.
Let’s all of us Writers give ourselves a bit of proper self-respect. You may be a starving Writer, but you are a Writer. Aspiring happened before you began writing….