I’ve received many emails, letters, and even a few postcards, expressing the same thing: “I want to be a writer.”
Many of the senders go on to ask the inevitable question: “Am I good enough?”
I’m glad they asked. After all, if we’re honest, you and me, we’ve been there at some time or another, too, wondering the same question writers have been wondering for centuries…
Am I really a writer?
This question, perhaps more than any other, is the surest sign you are indeed a writer and likely a darn good one, too!
All the best writers doubt themselves.
And the worst writers tend to be cocksure they’re the greatest!
But the true answer of whether one is a writer or not is:
A writer writes
For better or worse, a writer wields a pen.
Go ahead, tweet that, if you’d like.
But then there’s the question of…
Am I good enough?
Too many people think they can’t call themselves a writer unless they’re considered good.
Allow me to shatter a myth that Writer’s Doubt has created in the minds of writers the world over:
Whether one’s writing is good, bad or ugly, that’s determined by the readers and not the writer. We can always improve as writers, but we can never control what anyone thinks of our writing.
It’s pretty scary, I know. It’s the price of admission. The fact is, you don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re good enough.
You write, therefore you ARE a writer. Period.
If you’re willing to risk challenging your doubts and become all you’re born to be, if you’re truly so inclined, then get over the notion that you need the approval of “others” to call yourself a writer.
You don’t need anyone’s approval to be a writer.
One person will love your work and another may hate it.
That’s just the way it is.
But know this: neither the lover nor the hater determines what, or even, who, you are. Sure, each has an opinion about the quality of your writing, but that doesn’t establish whether you’re a writer or not.
I think it’s incredibly rare for someone to be completely confident in their writing ability. We all doubt ourselves and our writing from time to time, and that’s okay.
But what’s not okay is to allow doubt to hold you back from your destiny as a writer, or even, as a person.
Do what you do, create what only you can create, and don’t let anyone stop you, especially not yourself.
So as you go about writing today consider the truth of what a writer actually does, and while you’re considering that, how about taking a moment to honestly answer this one simple question:
Are you a writer?
Share the answer with us in the comments. Go ahead, write it – don’t fight it!