becoming a real writerHave you ever found yourself wishing you were a “real” writer? I sure have. I’ve always loved to write, and even as a child, I dreamed of writing a book someday. I would write little poems and stories and even attempted keeping a journal off and on over the years. But, did I consider myself a writer? Nope.

As an adult, I wrote a few articles which were published in local newspapers and some newsletters. I even started helping   clients write the copy for some of their web pages, social media campaigns and email autoresponders. I joined a local writer’s guild and read books on writing. I even got paid to do some ghostwriting on a couple of projects. Still, I didn’t consider myself to be a “real” writer.

Then, last November, I committed to finishing the National Novel Writing Month challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I poured my heart into a memoir about working with my first guide dog and was totally amazed at both the process and the experience. I also proved to myself that I actually could set a writing related goal and achieve it. That’s something real writers do, right?

The truth is, I’ve been doing the things a “real” writer does all along, but I still kept looking for some outside force to bestow that magical title upon me. Not only that, I actually kept ignoring the positive feedback I was getting in the form of client appreciation, publication of my work, and even payment for my efforts. Then along came NaNoWriMo, and I was finally able to give myself the validation I was looking for. After many years of wordsmithing, this one month of frenzied writing activity finally helped me realize that I wasn’t becoming a “real” writer; I already was one. Surprise!

So what’s keeping you from becoming a “real” writer? Do you write? If so, you’re a writer. Do you have a yearning to write? Then write! Stop waiting for someone else to give you permission. Stop holding back the message that is uniquely yours to share. Stop waiting for the time to be perfect because it never will be. Start somewhere. Put your pen to paper or your fingers to the keyboard and just write. Don’t worry about it being good. You can’t improve if you never start in the first place.

What do you write about or want to write about? What can help you get started and finally acknowledge yourself as the real writer you may already be?