Writing and Publishing

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be an Aspiring Writer

The labels writers use about themselves reveal much about them—& their future

I cringe every time someone says, “I’m an aspiring writer.” The phrase is an oxymoron: either you’re a writer or you’re not.

It makes as much sense as the claims of “somewhat unique” or a “little pregnant.” There are no degrees of uniqueness or pregnancy. And while there are levels of writing proficiency, there are no variations of writership.

Simply stated, “I am a writer,” and don’t equivocate.

When people say they are an aspiring writer it tells me one of three things about them:

1) The Romantic

They are a dreamer and not a doer. These folks will forever talk about writing but will never write. They long to have written but will never sit down to do the work. They derive satisfaction talking about writing and may even have an impressive vocabulary about the craft, but they are mere poseurs—and always will be.

2) The Procrastinator

This group waits for the right time to write. Life is in their way right now, but the next season will be better, allowing time to write. Except it won’t. Just as they allow the distractions of life to push aside writing today, the same thing will happen tomorrow. Now is the time to start writing, not later.

3) The Doubter

Some people write in secret or hold their words too close to ever share. They are waiting until they become better and dare not claim full writer status at this time. This group lacks confidence, and I understand that. But real writers always strive to improve; we will never arrive. My work today is better than it was a year ago and in another year I expect to be even better, but the whole time I have been a writer. You are too.

This brings up a fourth category: the delusional writer. Though they are not aspiring, they are arrogant. They think they have this writing thing down and see no need for improvement. I’ve had people actually tell me that. They make me sad because they don’t have a clue.

So don’t fantasize about writing, put off writing, or diminish your writing. Always strive to improve, but never aspire to write. Just write.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

6 replies on “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be an Aspiring Writer”

Thank you Peter for this advise. I am taking the plunge this year into seriously beginning a novel that I have been putting off for too long. Your article gave me the added push I need to begin.

I once had a sign for my desk, “psychology majors would rather think about it than do it” i often get stuck in thinking mode because it is rewarding to a contemplative type like myself. Thanks for flushing out the motivations behind thinking over doing!

Haha! This is what I was talking to you about in writing group, and maybe it will help someone else if I respond. When I read this, I went to all my bios, and sites and took out the word, “aspiring!” So funny, but I’m daring to write, “writer,” or even “author,” shhhh……at times! 🙂

Comments are closed.