When can you call yourself a writer?
Writers are funny people. We love writing, we love books, we love thinking about characters and stories. Even when we’re not physically putting words on the page, we’re still writing.
And yet, so many of us stop short at calling ourselves writers.
When someone asks us what we do, we tell them about our day jobs. We might mention we like writing, but we downplay it, calling it a “hobby” or something we “dabble in” or “enjoy on the side.”
There are few amongst us who come right out and identify themselves as writers. Why?
We think we must be published, widely and successfully, before making the claim.
That needs to change.
Publishing is not the only benchmark of a writer’s success.
We might be working toward publication, but in the meantime, we’re still writing.
We’re still editing, still working on our stories and novels and plots.
We’re participating in writing groups or attending writing workshops. We subscribe to writing services (like AutoCrit) and follow publishing trends.
If you write, you are a writer.
If you feel called to the page, moved by words, drawn into stories, compelled to string words into sentences into paragraphs—you are a writer.
It’s time we started calling ourselves writers.
Start now, in private. Practice in the mirror.
Lift your head up and say, “I am a writer.”
Every day, when you sit down at the computer, tell yourself, “I am a writer.”
The more you say it, the more you will come to believe it.
And once you believe it, then you’re ready to declare yourself a writer in public.
The next time someone asks what you do, tell them, “I’m a writer.”
The trick is to be prepared for follow-up questions. If you say you’re a writer, chances are, you can expect the next question to be something along the lines of, “Oh really? What do you write?”
Have an answer ready.
You don’t have to explain the plot of your current work-in-progress or the varied genres and styles you’re exploring.
Just say something simple, like, “Short stories,” or “Fiction, mostly for adults,” or “Young adult, usually fantasy.”
Keep it short and sweet – you’ll feel more confident that way.
If anyone asks about your publishing record and you haven’t had anything in print yet, that’s okay.
Just be straightforward and confident.
Smile and say, “Not yet, but I’m working on it,” or “A few pieces, but I’m optimistic about more.”
Most people understand publishing is a challenging industry and a long process. They will be supportive.
The thing to remember is that a lot of people are curious about writing.
Even people who went into professions other than writing often say they’ve always been interested in writing a book or have a short story in mind they’d love to get down on paper.
If people are asking you about your writing, it’s likely because they’re genuinely curious – not because they want to prove anything or are trying to challenge your claim as a writer.
And if you’re not ready to declare yourself publicly as a writer, that’s okay. But start calling yourself a writer in private.
Own it as an identity — right now.
Publication is not the determining factor for whether you get to call yourself a writer. You are.
When can you call yourself a writer? Right now.
AutoCrit is here to help.
More than ten years ago AutoCrit set out to find what makes a novel successful.
We talked to everyone involved in the publishing process.
We grilled editors for insights. Shadowed authors to observe their struggles. Queried agents to find out what were the elements of a strong book.
And every time, editing rose to the top.
We charted sentence length, passive voice vs. active voice, pacing, and word choice. You name it; we documented it.
Then we created a program that searched out the weakest, most difficult to find aspects of editing and provided step-by-step guidance on how to polish your work. AutoCrit was born.
Over the years, we helped thousands upon thousands of authors drastically improve their writing and transform their drafts into polished books readers love.
Today, as you commit to truly believing you are a writer, we would love to help you, too.
1. Signup for a free AutoCrit Membership and analyze your writing, receive blog articles, promotions, tips, tricks, and motivation to keep you going.