“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”― Steven Pressfield
I have always heard if you want to be a writer that you should just call yourself a writer. I called myself a writer, wrote and published, but I still didn’t feel like a legitimate writer.
I had an idea that if I didn’t end up on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list or Oprah’s Book Club that I wasn’t really a writer. So, I never gave myself the credit despite all the work I have done.
I wrote, revised and self-published several books and sold them through Amazon. Still didn’t feel like a writer.
I was published on HuffPost, Thrive Global and on other smaller outlets, but I still didn’t tell myself that I was a bonafide writer. I had a portfolio but I wasn’t committed to it. I wrote when the feeling hit me.
Then, I wrote for GoodMenProject.com a couple times. One day, I received an invitation from them to write a weekly column. I was shocked and honored. I jumped at the chance. I was assigned an Editor and I chose what day I wanted to be published. I was given the day that I had to turn in my post.
As the day approached, I stared at a blank screen wondering what I should write. Then, a topic fell into my consciousness and I decided to let it take control of my fingers. I turned in my first post and the Editor said nothing. The following Thursday, I received a link saying my column was published and there it was. It felt surreal.
Then, I told myself…I think I am a writer.
The next week, I struggled again to figure out what I should write about. I had fear and doubt to get over. I felt like I was faking it as I faced a blank page and a deadline week after week. The website helped by providing prompts but I still had to put my spin on it. I had to promote it.
As the months passed, it got easier and easier to find topics I wanted to share my perspective on. I began to share more personal stories. I listened intently to conversations. I sparked debates online to inspire and inform myself. I did research to understand the psychology behind some of the things I wanted to explore.
I became a writer.
Each week, the burden of that deadline felt like freedom. I met it with excitement. I had a voice in the world and people actually liked what I had to say. Sometimes, I got feedback. Sometimes, I didn’t. But, people were reading it.
I received messages from people saying, “I never knew anyone else felt this way. Now, I don’t feel alone.”
Even my Editor, told me that she thinks I should consider writing my memoir based on some of the column posts I have written which shared some of my personal trials and resiliency. And, I may consider that very soon. I am just waiting until I can tell it in a way that add value and not spread more negativity into the world. My heart will let me know when I am ready.
Yesterday, October 15, 2019, I turned in my column on the same day in 2018 that I was given my column. It marks the Anniversary of my column and on Thursday I will have been a columnist for 1 whole year. I am a year old.
And, now when people ask me what I do, I say with confidence.
I write. I’m a writer.
And, I feel like one.
“Stay Stupid The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled the plug before he even began. Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. ”― Steven Pressfield