For those who want to write, meeting someone who actually calls themselves a writer creates a certain amount of awe. I know, because that’s the way I was when I first embarked on this journey. I went to writing conferences and listened to published authors teach about their special area of writing. I sat at the dinner table with others who were in the midst of writing projects, eagerly discussing their work-in-progress (WIP). For about two years, I listened, took notes, studied, and met authors and editors. But they were the writers, not me. I was just learning.
Of course, I was writing too. I wrote journals and devotionals, but no one else saw them. It was at one of these conferences that an editor suggested I send in my devotionals to The Upper Room. It was also at one of these conferences where I met an editor for Focus on the Family and asked him if he would be interested in a story about a mission trip I had taken. He was. As a result of following through on these suggestions, I was published in both The Upper Room and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. But still, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I was still just a beginner in my eyes.
Then one day I heard a speaker who made me realize who I was. I was a writer. Why? Because I wrote. Simple as that. Published or not, I was still a writer. I must admit I was afraid to say I was to anyone else. If I did, it meant I really was serious about the pursuit – I was committed. It also meant I had to face the reaction of others. That was humbling.
It goes like this: “What do you do?” You answer, “I’m a writer.” Inevitably the next question is, “Oh, what do you write?” And then you watch their eyes glaze over as you tell them what you’ve actually written. I thought that if I didn’t have a book in print, I couldn’t claim to be an author. Not true. A writer is an author, a person who writes. Besides, even if I did have a book in print, odds are the majority of people haven’t heard of it. There are thousands and thousands of books published and the average person has heard of, much less read, very few of them. But does that mean I’m not a writer? Of course not. Whether someone has heard of me or my writing has nothing to do with who I am. I’m still a writer.
So, do you want to be a writer? Then write. If you write, you are a writer. Next, you must learn how to write better. More on that later.