3 Ways to Move From Aspiring Writer to Working Professional

Do you call yourself an aspiring writer?

This Sunday at church I told a few of my friends about my writing business. I told them I wanted to get my name out there, write for others, and build my business plan.

Later that afternoon I had a flash of insight. It hit me in these words from Fred Smith’s book, Breakfast with Fred:

“Nothing happens until someone says, ‘I will.'”

I talked a lot about what I was going to do, what I want to do, and what I should do. But until I do it, it’s just words, isn’t it?

In other words, I acted like an aspiring writer.

Nothing happens until someone says 'I will'. Click To Tweet

Don't call yourself an aspiring writer.

Why Being an Aspiring Writer Won’t Cut It

Zig Ziglar talks about people who are “gonna doers” in his book See You at the Top. They are stuck in preparation mode, always getting ready and never starting.

Take this advice from a 900 year old sage named Yoda: “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”

If you call yourself an aspiring writer, here are a few reasons why you might:

  • You haven’t been paid for your work yet, so you don’t feel like a “real writer”.
  • Someone has made fun of you for wanting to write full-time, so you feel guilty.
  • You think you’ve got to be James Patterson, John Maxwell, or Nora Roberts to be a legitimate writer.

I understand your feelings. I’ve felt them, too.

The truth is they’re all lies.

You’re a writer when you say you are.

Quit aspiring and start doing.

If you're an aspiring writer, quit trying. Just call yourself a writer and write.

3 Ways to Quit Aspiring and Start Acting Like a Real Writer

Start calling yourself a writer.

If you write, you’re a writer. It’s that simple. Believe it and some awesome things will happen.


  • get up early every morning to write something.
  • tell your friends about what you’re writing.
  • start believing your work is worth reading, sharing, and celebrating.

The confidence you build will prepare you for the next step.

You are a writer when you say you are. Click To Tweet

Start sharing your work before you’re ready.

Napoleon Hill says in his book Think and Grow Rich that now is the time to go after your dream.

  • Start whether you think you’re ready or not.
  • See yourself doing your work successfully.
  • Soon you’ll find you have everything you need to reach your goal.

Jeff Goins says you should practice writing in public. That means you need to share your work regularly. Take risks with it. Get feedback. Put your work in front of people.

You might get criticized.

You might be praised.

Either way, you’ll be able to take the next step.

Don't be an aspiring writer. Just be a writer.

Test, adjust, refine, and repeat.

Tony Robbins has a simple success formula.

  1. Know your outcome.
  2. Know your reasons why.
  3. Take massive action.
  4. Notice your approach.
  5. Change your approach if needed.

James Patterson wasn’t born a great writer. He didn’t even like reading until after he graduated high school!

When James decided he wanted to be a writer, he wrote his first novel in his spare time. He shared his novel with one publisher after another, 31 of whom would turn him down.

The 32nd publisher said yes.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a hit on your first try. Or your second. Or your 32nd. Keep at it.

You’ll get better the more you write, share, and listen.

You won’t be an aspiring writer anymore.

And finally one day your writing will get the attention it deserves.

Do This Now

If you’re still calling yourself an aspiring writer, stop it right now.

Do this instead:

  • Write something that you’ve put off because you’re afraid someone might disagree with it.
  • Share it on your social networks. Share it with your email list. Send it to your friends.
  • Listen to the feedback you get. Some will love it. Others may hate it. Be thankful for any reaction you get and use the feedback to improve your work next time.

Sure, it’s risky. This assignment may scare you to death. But trust me, it may be the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.

Your critics may start taking you seriously.

Those friends who laughed at you before may now cheer you on.

You’ll believe in your work enough to start asking other bloggers if you can write for them.

Isn’t that what you aspired to do?

Now go do it.

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