I recently had a conversation with colleagues about how it felt like lying, the first few times we called ourselves writers. After all, we’d had little or nothing published, and — for me as a kid — writing was a cute little hobby to trot out for entertainment whenever my parents had guests.
However, while on a plane ride in my twenties, I used “I’m a writer” in an almost pugnacious fashion to get the guy in the next seat to leave me alone while I took notes from a civilian’s diary of her time in France during WWI for a novel I’d been outlining.
He seemed inclined to talk, however, and I was ungracious, responding curtly, less out of annoyance and more out of fear that this stranger would see right through me to the rotten lying core of the lying pretender I was.
Crazy, ain’t it, how the past will reach out and pester a person?
Yes, it may sound pretentious or seem like a lie, but if you aspire to be a writer, be a writer. Write. Drop the “aspiring”.
If you want to be a painter, a dancer, a guitar player, then paint, dance, play. It seems simplistic and sometimes impossible, but stop waiting for the nebulous someday and take steps now to become what you want to be then.
It’s only when I started saying “I am a writer” that I realized, “Why, yes. Yes, I am,” and that affirmation propelled me onward, out of the backwater of someday and into the current that has carried me since.