I am writing this post for all you "aspiring" or "wannabe" writers out there. I see the phrase "aspiring writer" used by a lot of people who follow me on Twitter, and I know where you're coming from. I've been writing on and off for well over a decade now, but it wasn't until I stopped saying things like "I'd like to be a writer someday" or "I'd like to write a book someday" that I finally did it. It took an active change of perspective to go from "Oh, I have this idea" to "I wrote this book." I embraced the fact that I was a writer. No matter what else I did to earn a living, I was, and I will always be a writer. I had to claim the title before anything could happen. Now, just a little over a year later, I have two novels and a short story collection published and another novel out next month.
So if you call yourself an "aspiring writer," what do you mean by that? Do you mean you're an aspiring writer because you have a day job? Most non-bestsellers do. Do you mean you're aspiring because you haven't been published yet? So what? That doesn't mean all the work you've put into your writing doesn't count. So if you have the words "aspiring writer" or "wannabe writer" anywhere on your Twitter or Facebook profiles or on your blog, remove the offending adjective.
Being a writer does not mean you are successful. It does not mean you are published. It doesn't even mean you've ever finished a novel. Being a writer means that you have stories to tell and you are telling them. It means that you can't help but tell those stories. It means that you will finish that novel. It means you will hold a copy of it in your hands and know that it exists because of you. Don't let the word "aspiring" trick you into thinking that being a writer is something you will do in the future, that it is something that has not yet come to pass. Do it now. Be it now. You are a writer, and until you decide otherwise, nothing and no one can take that away from you.
Michael K. Rose