If you’ve been doing something else with your life up to now (and who hasn’t?), go ahead and start identifying as a writer. It’s not necessary to tell others that you’re a writer, but it’s critical that you tell yourself. Believe it in your heart. Believe it in your soul. You are a writer.
You might still be a full-time employee somewhere, a parent, a jock, a politician—or fulfill any number of other roles. But from now on, you’re also a writer.
“I am a writer.” Put it on a sign over your desk. Put it in a note in your wallet.
I created covers for books I planned to write—with their titles and my name, as author—before I ever start writing them. Then, I hung those covers over my desk. They keep me inspired to work on those books and reach my goal.
Some of the best ways to begin identifying as a writer are:
- Read books about writers, including writer-inspiration books.
- Read interviews with writers, both famous and as yet unknown.
- Visit whatever remaining bookstores you can find and thumb through books like those you want to write, or any books you like.
- Attend book signings and author readings.
- Sign up for a writing class.
- Join a live or online writers’ group—but make sure it’s composed of good writers, who are serious about improving their skills.
- Keep up with the literary world: read online posts by writers, agents, and publishers.
- Volunteer to write for a community non-profit whose work you want to advance.
And hang out at your local library. You’d be surprised how many of the patrons are fellow (or sister) writers.
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, by Brenda Ueland
Making a Literary Life, Carolyn See
Page After Page, by Heather Sellers
Join me on Thursday, September 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m. for a lively presentation on Life Story Writing at Minuteman High School, in Lexington, Mass.
For a stream of useful writing information, follow me on Twitter @lynettebenton. And don’t miss Best Books for Aspiring Writers.