You’ve probably just read the title of this post, ‘how to know if you’re a writer’ and thought, ‘she’s reading my mind.’ I swear to you, I’m not a mind reader. This has got to be the most frequently asked question among aspiring authors and writers. Everyone at some point with this issue of self-doubt. We fear that there are a set of prerequisites and we’re going to fall short. So, how do you know if you’re a writer? If you’ve ever found yourself asking that question, then this blog post is for you.
How to know if you’re a writer
When you first start out, it’s perfectly natural to seek some form of validation. As humans, we have this need to figure out if we’re going to be a success before we embark on a journey. When you’re asking this question, most people want to know if they’re a good writer or if they’re meant to be a writer. Unfortunately, this is a question that I can’t answer for you. Only you can answer that question. I know that’s not the most helpful answer, but, it’s still good news. You get to decide whether you are a writer or not. But, before we get into discussing this it’s important to take a deeper look at the reason why you’re asking this question.
In this blog post and accompanying video, I’m going to discuss this age old question, ‘how to know if you’re a writer.’ And, share you some insight on how to know if you’re a writer, and a few simple strategies to help you reframe your mindset for success.
Talent is a myth
Understanding the concept of talent is a crucial first step in figuring out why you’re struggling with doubt and how to know if you’re a writer. This question of whether you are a writer boils down to the myth of talent. Essentially many people who dream of writing believe they need to have a certain level of talent to start writing. As a result, they disqualify themselves before they even get started.
It’s all about the journey. In order to be a good writer or to become a better writer, you need to write and look back over your work for ways to improve. It’s the only way. A good writer isn’t born with talent; a good writer is made through the writing and editing process. I’ve heard a lot of writers say that their edits have helped them to hone their craft. This is great news for you because you can decide to become a writer. There are no prerequisites.
The best thing you can do for yourself is dust off those story ideas and start writing. When I started writing back in 2011, I made a commitment to write four screenplays with the sole means of learning the craft of writing. While you may not need to make a commitment as large a mine, decide to write a couple of novellas or a shorter novel in a genre you love. The reason I say to write as a way of learning, is because that’s how you learn the craft. You can read a tonne of craft books, but you don’t truly learn until you but the tips into practice.
Writing is subjective
The truth is, writing is subjective. One person will love your writing, and another person will think it’s the worst thing they’ve ever read. As a writer, the best thing you can do for yourself is to know this before you get started. Knowing that art is subjective will save you from a little heartache in the long run. This is the reason I told you at the start of this post that I cannot decide or answer the question for you. If you give someone your power and let them decide whether you have what it takes, you run the risk of living your life by someone else’s opinion or ideas. Writing is no different.
So, are you a writer?
If you’re still watching reading this blog post, then on some level you have an aspiration to be a writer. In order to become a writer, you need to commit to the journey of a writer and get started. A simple commitment and an action is all you need to know if you’re a writer. So, before you decide whether writing is right for you, ask yourself the following two questions.
Are you committed to embarking on one of the longest apprenticeships of your life? The life of a writer is a journey. You never truly reach a place where you have mastered writing. As a writer, you’re always learning and growing.
Are you determined to put in the work that’s required to be a writer? When I decided to become a writer, I committed to writing projects with the sole purpose of learning the craft and not publishing. Eventually, I did come across an idea that was worthy of publication. But, it took time. Almost four years. I’m not saying you need to write for three years before you consider writing a project with the intent on publishing, but are you committed to learning the craft of writing in this way. Writing isn’t a quick and easy path, but it has its rewards.
If you answered, yes to both of these questions then writing is probably a path that you’re seriously considering. So, my best advice to you is to start working on your first project. Here are a few of my fiction writing blog posts, if you’re not sure how to get started with writing your first novel.
So, are you a writer? Have you committed to writing your first project? I want to hear from you. Let me know by sharing your thoughts or story in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing with such enthusiasm.