When is a writer a writer?

A while back, when I first began this journey from reader to writer, I came across an article that called to me. At the time, I was so new to the process of writing a novel, that the idea of being able to call myself a writer felt like an impossible dream. I had after all, no published books, no agent, no editor, not even a finished manuscript.

Then Chuck Sambuchino’s article found me and I realised I had it all wrong!

To my way of thinking, being a writer was a title I could only claim when I had proven I could write a novel, have it published and be praised by readers and critics alike. Sounds great, but that could be a long time coming and what, if anything, do you call yourself in the meantime?

Now, it might not matter to most people – in fact, I’m quite sure what title I give myself means very little to anyone but me – but particularly one section of Sambuchino’s article struck a chord:

When you finally call yourself a writer, it drives home the fact that this is real. It’s serious. We’re no longer talking about some vague ambition. You’re a professional writer who has to produce content, be that novels or nonfiction books or articles or whatever.

Go ahead and say it right now: “I am a writer.” The more it becomes real for you, the more it will drive you to sit down as much as possible and put words on the page.

Chuck Sambuchino

At that point, I decided I didn’t have to wait to call myself a writer – especially if doing so would help me find the right mindset and believe in myself a bit more. I know it has helped me work harder and find the motivation to keep going, even when taking the time to write or dealing with writer’s block felt like a never ending battle. It has become a part of my identity and something I am fiercely proud of. And so, even now I still tell myself:

I am a writer!

And this is my journey…

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