This November will mark 10 years since I launched my business. Back then, writing was a secondary means of income unless you counted the forums I managed and the occasional written contributions I made to each one. Gradually, I shifted my work to developing websites and, later, to writing articles. These days, almost everything I do is centered around writing, although it took some time before I actually referred to myself as a writer.
What made the difference for me? What was it that helped me make the transition from an aspiring to a professional writer?
It certainly wasn’t my writing capabilities as I had to find my voice and adopt a writing style that was acceptable. For years, I had written fairly informally, but when I was “discovered” I quickly learned that style sheets and guide books would best be studied and followed.
Formal writing aside, there was something that I knew would help me succeed and that was to believe in myself.
Believe, as in trusting my capabilities. Believe, as in accepting people’s compliments, not just their criticisms. In short, I had to change my state of mind to realize that I had come to the place of being able to make a living from my writing, going beyond it being a hobby.
Once I found my place in the writing world, the joy came with it. That joy isn’t based on what others think and say, rather in what I believe. Certainly, if there was no work to support my viewpoint, then I’m at best off track or at worst I’m delusional.
By recognizing yourself as a writer you serve to cast out the demons of doubt that may have been haunting you for some time. We all have them: goblins that whisper in our ears questioning our capabilities and making us wonder if we’re going down the wrong road.
The problem with doubt, is that if you don’t overcome it, then you’ll soon believe your own worst report. Doubt can lead to despair and soon you’ll be fighting the Big D — depression. Maybe not the clinical kind, but the situational depression (or blues) we all battle from time to time.
One thing you’ll understand when you confidently call yourself a writer is that others will start to believe it too. That doesn’t mean you have “arrived,” rather it does demonstrate to others that you are confident in your work. Confident writers are hired. Paid writers are joyful writers.
What kind of writer are you?