Over and over I hear people call themselves “aspiring” writers. I always had a problem with that term, because it never really made sense to me. Why “aspiring”? It sounds to me like someone who wants to write, but doesn’t dare to do it. Or someone who would like to be a writer, but thinks they doesn’t have the time or money for being one. That’s all bad excuses!
In the following I will tell you, what I personally think about “aspiring” writers.
First of all, in my opinion there is no such a thing as an “aspiring” writer. Either someone writes or they don’t. And if they write, they are writers. If they don’t, they’re not. It’s that simple.
Maybe I think that way, because we don’t say that in my German mother tongue. It’s not common to use the word “aspiring” in that context. We either say that we’re writers or we don’t. There is no such a thing as an “aufstrebender Autor” (literally for “aspiring writer”). If someone would call themself that here, people would find it strange and weren’t sure what it means.
So why does the English-speaking world hide behind that term? Are “aspiring” writers too afraid to call themselves writers? Are they scared of what it means to be a writer?
Let’s face it: Being a writer is one of the hardest jobs ever. Writing a book is a struggle. You have to design an outline, let your creativity flow (even on bad days), slip into the roles of your characters, discover and eliminate plot holes, create an arc of suspense, bleed ink on pages and pages and pages … that’s not easy at all!
So, when you call yourself a writer, you commit to your future readers that you will shed blood, sweat and tears to write that damn novel and FINISH it. Everybody who ever finished writing a manuscript, knows what a great feeling this is – a rush of emotions. But they also know what hard work it was to get to that point.
In the last few months I came to understand that there are many people out there who want to be writers. But only few of them are really serious about it. I mean, I’ve heard so many people say: “I want to write a book.” But they never really thought about what a challenge this is.
They don’t realize that writing is a craft that has to be learnt from scratch. And most writers have to teach all the skills a writer needs themselves, from writer’s guides, articles and blog posts, YouTube videos and, of course, by practicing it and giving their manuscripts to people with experience who can give them a qualified feedback. The latter is still the most effective way to learn the craft of writing.
I’m tired of hearing people say lackadaisically, that they want to write a book. Being a writer is not that easy. And people should value writers more for what they do.
What do YOU think? Do you also hear people say that they want to write books even though they have no idea what that means? What do you think about that? I’m curious to hear your opinion.