Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

How NOT to Be a Writer

I receive email notifications from Jeff Goins, a writing/blogging/branding guru I follow. I have taken classes and webinars that he has offered and highly recommend them to anyone needing a kick in the pants to get off the couch and start living your creative dream.

In a recent email, he explained that the best way to NOT become a writer is to wish you were one.

Sitting around thinking about writing doesn’t put words on the page. It will not make you a writer.

If you want to write, paint, dance, run, whatever – doing it is the only way to actually make it a reality.

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Seems like an obvious statement, I know. But if it is so obvious, if you are sitting there saying, “Well, duh!” then why is it so few people are actually following their dreams? Why are we filling our lives with wishes for things we want to do but don’t?

Why do we get so caught up in the details? What writing software should I use? Should I paint in oils or acrylics? What style of running shorts would be most comfortable and make me aerodynamic? We spend far too much energy and time focused on the little details and far too little time actually doing the thing.

Why? Fear.

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I talked about that a bit last week. Fear and how that is the reason we procrastinate. That is also the reason we obsess about every detail before we actually sit down to write. It is a form of procrastination. And we do it because we cannot for one second believe we are really a writer. I mean, who are we to think anyone would want to read our words? Who do we think we are to try to put ourselves out there on display for all to see?

The first step in moving forward in pursuit of any dream is to believe we are already what we want to become. If you have typed a sentence, then you are writer. If you have applied paint to canvas, you are an artist. If you have tied up your sneakers and ran around the block, even if it about killed you, you are already a runner.

You have to own it.

Coming out of my own little writer’s closet took a lot of courage. I told my husband first. Then a few family members. It took years before I could actually say it without blushing and mumbling.

“I am a writer.”

It has been 10 months since my first novel came out. I just recently stopped quantifying that with an explanation that it is self-published. It is out there. And I own it. It took a LOT of work and I am happy with the final product- the story, the formatting, the cover. It is everything I wanted it to be. So, yes –

“I am a published author.”

Choose your dream. Own it. Believe it. Make it yours.
Repeat the phrase daily until it sticks – I am a _________!”

own it

If you are looking for a little jolt of inspiration, I have posted on this topic before – here, here and here.

5 Comments

  1. This was a fantastic read. To think, I always think about deleting his emails. Haha.

    • Thanks! I do recommend Jeff’s blogs. I know he does send a lot of emails, and his free webinars are often selling a class or something, but I have gotten a lot out of them. 😊

  2. How true, we are that which we do. Dreaming about something will not make it so, taking action does. And as you said, we have to claim that which we are doing. If we write, why then we are writers. If we run, we are runners. It does not matter how good or bad we may be. Action is what makes us as such and with practice we will improve. Improving does not make us a writer, runner, etc, it simply makes us a better writer or runner.

    • So glad this resonated with you!! I have to remind myself of this seemingly simple fact. To be a writer, I must write. That is all. 😊

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