If you would’ve told me 10 years ago I’d be receiving letters from people who wanted to be writers, I would have laughed and asked you to refill my Ovaltine.
But the truth is, I receive messages about this very thing from aspiring writers all the time. Nearly without fail, most of them actually use the word “aspire” in their letters.
Here are some excerpts:
“I’m an aspiring writer, please help me figure out how to go about this.”
“I an aspiring author… I’m 18, I’d like to know what my next step should be.”
“I’m 71 years old, I aspire to be a writer, do you have any tips...?”
So I wanted to depart from my usual subject matter and take a moment to address these letters. Because I know from my own pitiful experience that there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to BE something but not knowing how.
Which leads to my first point. And this is the main thing I want to tell the good people who have contacted me: Quit calling yourself an
“aspiring writer.” You are not an aspiring writer. You are a REAL WRITER.
Simply put, if you write, you’re already the real deal. I truly believe this.
After all, you don’t aspire to be alive, do you? Nobody living in New York aspires to be a New Yorker. Birches don’t aspire to be trees. Episcopalians don’t aspire to be Episcopalians; they simply open a Pabst Blue Ribbon and shout, “And also with YOU!” ‘Piskies are fun!
Skill has nothing to do with who you are. Who you are is who you are. And if you like writing stuff, you are a writer. Not an aspiring one. A true writer.
Now you say it.
See how easy that was? You’re legit now. Identity crisis solved. Now you can go on with your life.
I realize you probably think I’m being lighthearted here, but…