Friday, October 24, 2014

Stop Aspiring

The world is filled with aspiring authors. Ask anyone at a party and most people have at least one book idea and think they'd make a fabulous writer. And the majority of those people totally deserve to use the term 'aspiring author' when referring to themselves. But here's the thing, the second you write a book, even if no one ever publishes it, you're no longer an aspiring author. You've arrived. You're an author. A bona fide writer. Drop aspiring from your vocabulary, please.

Most people will never finish a novel so already you've done something amazing. Pause and admire that. You stuck with something and poured your heart and soul into it and while it may not be perfect it is yours and you are awesome. Aspiring is a stick we use to beat ourselves saying "I'm not quite there yet." If you write a novel you ARE an author. You ARE a writer. What you are still aspiring to be is a traditionally published author or an agented author or a successful self-pubbed author. Those are important qualifiers.

The writing journey is long and lonely and filled with lots of rejection. Make sure you take time to celebrate everything you can. Rip 'aspiring' out of all your social media bios, blogs, and general lexicon. Be proud of yourself and what you've accomplished. And of course remember that there's always more to do. And you'll always have to be patient. Even for wildly famous and prolific writers the publishing process is a long and slow one. The best thing you can do is keep writing. Write another book. Another short story. Another poem. Keep writing and know that however lonely and long the writing process is, there are thousands sharing your same experience at the exact same moment. Go make friends by joining a local writing group, an online writing website or entering a contest and connecting with other authors. Find some kick-ass critique partners and support each other.

And always, always aspire to more. Just remember you're already an author and you're already amazing.

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