Proving you’re a writer to yourself

proving you're a writer, woman in hammock

“You’re a writer the minute you say you are. Nobody gives you a diploma–you have to prove it, at least to yourself.”  ~ Quote by Jr. from The Tender Bar.  

What lets you hold the title of “writer?”  

Is it…

  • Quantity of pages or word count produced per day or week
  • X number of complete works
  • Making money off your words
  • Writing full-time professionally
  • Seeing your book on the shelf of your favorite bookstore

What would make you feel like you’re enough?

  • When your writing is “perfect”
  • When you’re advanced, with X years of experience
  • After working with an editor
  • Once X number of people buy your book
  • Winning an award

None of the above needs to be your definition of “writer.”

Are you still a writer if…

  • You’ve been blocked for years
  • You don’t have any one genre to fit under
  • You write for yourself, without sharing your work

“Every industry has a way of making you feel terrible about yourself.”

Wise words from Laura Rowe.

The writing industry spans quite a spectrum. Being a writer can mean so many different things.  Novelist.  Blogger.  Memoirist.  Travel writer.  Academic writer.  Copywriter.  Journalist.  

Each with various internal and external benchmarks for success.

Yet.  As an identity, being a writer can go beyond the definition of an author whose work is traditionally published and distributed by a mainstream publisher.

Through my work, I’ve seen writing take many shapes to fulfill many different purposes.

Ultimately, I want to see you find satisfaction for yourself.  

So you’re not forever poised in a limbo of never feeling enough as a creative until X happens.  It’s common to want so badly to launch something to show for all you’ve done, but all the the pressure makes the end get further and further away. 

I’m a fan of supporting people to define their own terms.  Attempting to fit into a predetermined box is painful. 

Be open to your inner compass’s guidance towards something a bit different than mainstream expectation.

Your mind may grip tight to what writing “should” look like, suppressing your organic soulful creative instincts.

Maybe there’s someone at a local Open Mic whose life is going to change when they hear your words, and it doesn’t matter that the paper copy of your story is wrinkled and has a glaring typo that makes you wince.

Maybe you need to go on that lesser-known social media site and blog your journey of forbidden passions so you can connect with future best friends who understand and accept you fully.

Maybe it’s time to put together that ebook or website for your soul-centered business so your ideal clients can benefit from your work.

Free yourself up to brainstorm outside the lines.  What is calling to you?

You get to decide what’s valid.

When you beat yourself up for not being where you want to be.  When you feel the fear of being caught out as a fraud for your [lack of worthy] creative accomplishments… I invite you to question your assumptions.

What does being a writer mean to you?  And what do you want it to mean?

Make sure your assumptions serve you.

Turn down the volume of the outside world, and listen inwards for your creative impulses, letting them guide you to your own unique creative desires, goals, and accomplishments.

Be kind and gentle with yourself as you listen to your inner voice. Even when you receive all the world’s validation, finding peace within is priceless.