The Writer's Life

You ARE a Writer – No Doubt About It

Dear Writer – Friday, May 7, 2021

How do you declare your relationship with writing?

Do you say you are an “aspiring writer”?

Do you say you are a “wannabe writer”?

Are you passionate about your writing?

As spring arrived here in Tennessee, I put away my long-sleeved shirts and sweaters. In doing so, I revealed the tattoo on my right arm,

and once again, I am receiving comments like, “Oh, that is so cool. What do you write?”

“I write articles, poems, short stories, and novels.”

Many times the person’s response is “I wish I could write,” OR “I have an idea for a story, but I don’t think I could write it.”

Too many people often classify themselves as “aspiring writers” or “wannabe writers” or even “newbie writers”. Unfortunately, most writers who classify themselves this way will never become writers.

In “The Mother of all Attitudes,” James N. Frey compared writing to football. I found it fascinating. He talked about the young man who mowed his lawn. The young man had recently been cut from the football team because “he had failed to develop an attitude.” The kid had no idea what the coach meant and neither did Frey. He volunteered to go talk to the coach. In essence, the coach told the author that the boy just didn’t have a football player attitude. He played football, but he didn’t have the attitude of a football player. He didn’t have the drive or the attitude. The attitude to show up, to put in the hours and then some, and to do what every necessary to learn and win.

Do you have the drive to be considered a writer? Do you have the writer attitude?

Several years ago in a workshop, Laurie Scheer of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, passed out a blank sheet of lined notebook paper so that each of us could take notes. She asked us to write the word “writer” on the page.

Most of us placed the word on the top line next to the margin in our normal writing style.

Where would you have placed it? How large would you have written it?

In Laurie Scheer’s opinion, the place and the size of the word “writer” indicated how we felt about ourselves as a writer. “I’m going to help you change that viewpoint,” she told us.

I think Yoda says it best: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

You either

  • sit down to write or you do not.
  • revise your piece or you do not.
  • edit your piece or you do not.
  • submit or query your project or you do not.

Today it is time to declare yourself as a writer. Today is the time to take action and do what needs to be done to be successful with your writing. Today is the day to develop the “tude” of a writer.

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