“Aspiring”

I stumbled onto Lonely Blue Boy’s blog last night through WordPress Reader. There was one post that listed “Writing Tips,” and the tenth and final point struck home with me:

You are not an aspiring writer. You are a writer.

I have read countless blogs and bios that add “Aspiring” before “writer.” It seems logical and prudent, but it always struck me as a sad title.

So, I did some (super) basic research. First, the google definition of “aspire.”

as·pire

/əˈspī(ə)r/

verb

direct one’s hopes or ambitions toward achieving something.

I always viewed “aspire” as a positive word. It sounds positive enough considering the definition contains both “hopes” and “achieving.” But, once you tack “aspiring” onto “writer,” it becomes almost melancholic and self-deprecating. 

Several months ago, I made the decision to seriously pursue my writing. I wanted to hold myself accountable, so I changed my bios on social media to say “writer.” I doubt anyone else even noticed the change, but if someone did, I would have to defend myself as a writer. When I changed it, I nearly typed “aspiring writer,” but I didn’t.

Whenever I see someone post “aspiring writer,” I see it as an apologetic title. It includes a list of unspoken reasons why we’re not “Writers” with a capital “W.”

“I write, but I’m not published yet.”

“I’m published, but only in small publications.”

“I write short stories/poems/etc, but I really want to write novels.”

“I write on the side, but it’s not my day job.”

Do you want to know what a “writer” is? The definition of “writer” in Merriam-Webster is this:

writer

noun

 writ·er  \ ˈrī-tər \

one that writes

It also lists types of writers, but the main definition is straightforward and simple. If you write, you are a writer. Period. Don’t add commas, don’t add conjunctions, don’t add quotes, don’t add an asterisk, don’t add a qualifier. If you spend a large chunk of your time writing, you’re not aspiring to write, you are writing.*

Don’t sell yourself short.

*You technically are aspiring to publish, but that’s another topic for another day.

 

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