Welcome to How to Keep Writing Wednesdays, where you'll find a boost of encouragement to help you keep the words flowing.

Fakes and Wannabes

Here’s something you may not know: many writers, including bestselling authors, feel or have felt like a fake or wannabe at one or more points in their career (and sometimes for their entire career). They grapple with a sense of being the “real” thing, of being good enough, of wondering how the other “real” writers do it, because they themselves feel like wannabes. They’re afraid to call themselves writers when they first started out, so instead said they used words like “aspiring.” They’re reluctant to commit to the belief that they were a writer, just in case they weren’t. 

What makes a writer a writer? Writing is all about expression (of an idea, belief, possibility) or translation (what does love really mean? What makes a family? Who am I?). If you are finding ways to express yourself, how can you not be the real thing? Standards are an external measure, an attempt to quantify self-expression. But you can’t really quantify self-expression, and the rules change every day.

Don’t be quick to deny yourself. If you want to write, write. Ditch the wannabes attitude. Call yourself a writer. Believe you are a writer. Acknowledge that you are creative. Don’t let others define what that means and don’t explain or defend your desire/qualifications/reasons for writing. You can’t fake this stuff, even if you think that’s what you are doing. Wannabes don’t give it their best shot, but you will. If you’re taking the time to thoughtfully commit words to paper, you’re a writer.