I want you to do something, right now.
I mean it, right this minute, where ever you are.
Say this out loud: I AM A WRITER.
How did that feel? If it felt great–hell, yes! That’s awesome.
But, it’s okay if your answer to that question is: it felt like a lie.
Trust me when I tell you that I get how hard it is to make the mental leap to considering yourself a writer. I’ve heard people say that they won’t do it until they’re a best seller (To be fair, none of those people were published. I’d be willing to bet they change their mind the first time they see a book with their name on it.) Hopefully your own criteria for when you’ll feel like a writer is somewhat lower than being on a best seller list.
I made a decision when was very young that I’d officially call myself a writer the first time I got paid something for something I’d written. That turned out to be an article about dog friendly restaurants in Las Vegas. I was paid ten bucks. A few weeks later I wrote “writer” on my daughter’s kindergarten registration form.
I’m glad that I set the “I’m a writer” bar fairly low. I probably would have given up years ago if I’d decided I needed to be traditionally published first. Or worse, that I had to be a best seller.
I called myself a writer well before it was obvious to anyone else that I was. As a direct result of that, I mustered up the nerve to apply for a job as a newspaper reporter, when I didn’t have a college degree or any experience (I got that job.) I believed I was a writer and that formed my vision of myself.
If you’re holding back from telling people that you’re a writer because you think maybe it’s not okay to say that if you’re not published or you haven’t written a novel yet or no one’s paid you anything–here’s me giving you permission to just do it. Break whatever rule you think there is about who gets to say that they’re a writer.
You get to, Ninja Writer. Today. The next time someone asks you what you do. When you look in the mirror and need a boost. You are a writer. It’s okay to own that.
Did you already say “I am a writer” out loud? Good. Now, say it out loud to another person. You can practice by coming to say it in our Facebook group.