I’ve been writing my whole life.
For years, I penned stories in notebooks, even wrote and published articles in magazines. Still, I never considered myself a writer.
I used words like “wannabe” and “aspiring.” I told myself I’d write a book and be a real writer … some day.
But then, I had a breakthrough.
It was a simple shift of mind that changed everything, and it’s what you need to do — if people are going to take your work seriously.
Take two minutes, read on, and make the shift yourself …
What do real writers do that the rest of us don’t?
They believe in themselves.
They write confidently and courageously, without making excuses or apologies.
And if you’re going to do work that’s worth anything, you’re going to have to do the same. Even if at first you have to fake it.
You’re going to have to call yourself a writer.
When a writer becomes a writer
I once asked author Steven Pressfield when a writer becomes a writer.
Is it when you get book deal? When you sell your first thousand copies? When you hit the best sellers list? When do you get to call yourself a writer?
Steve said something I’ll never forget:
You are when you say you are. Screw what everyone else says.
I thought that sounded ridiculous, but I wondered if it was crazy enough to be true. So I gave it a whirl: I started calling myself a writer. I began affirming something in me that I had always doubted. I did this by faith — and guess what?
Steve was right.
I started to act like a writer. A real one, not a wannabe. And all kinds of amazing things happened as a result. Guest posts, book deals, invitations to write for magazines, even cold, hard cash in my pocket — all because I called myself a writer.
Why this works
When you call yourself a writer (or an entrepreneur, an innovator, or whatever), you unlock something inside yourself that wasn’t there before. Here’s what happens:
- It gives you confidence. Nobody wants to read work that an amateur writes. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t believe in himself. Calling yourself a writer helps you do just that.
- It makes your work better. Believe it or not, confidence matters. Not just for your self-esteem, but for the quality of work you do. When you start calling yourself something, you raise the stakes. You call your own bluff. And pretty soon, you ante up.
- It makes other people believe it, too. Unfortunately, we live in a world enamored of titles. When you tell people, “Writing is just something I do on the side…” you sabotage yourself before you get a chance to prove yourself. Calling yourself a writer is an invitation to the world to take you seriously. It helps you get paid.
So what are you waiting for?
Time to call yourself a writer — and actually believe it.
About the Author: Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. To read about portfolio lives, pivot points, and other fun things, click here.