There are few other professions aside from writing where people claim to do it when they never do.
What if I were intrigued with medicine after watching the entire TV series House, so I spend the next month thinking about going into the medical field. Maybe brain surgery.
That’d be cool.
So at the next party I go to, when someone asks me what I do, I naturally tell them I’m a brain surgeon.
That would never happen, because I don’t do surgeries, which is kind of important if you’re a brain surgeon.
Then why is it so common for people to claim to be a writer when they don’t write? That seems counterintuitive to me.
With every other career or hobby, you have to actually do it, not only think about how great it’s going to be once you actually do it.
I’ve spoken to so many people who claim to be a writer, then when I ask where they’re at with their book (or whatever project they’re working on), they tell me they haven’t written in a few months (or years). All I want to say to them is, “You’re not a writer. And it doesn’t sound like you want to be either because you don’t write.”
I don’t judge at all. I really don’t. Because I’ve been there.
Do whatever the heck you want to do. But if you tell me you want to write, or you are a writer, and you just don’t write… Well that doesn’t make any sense to me.
I think my natural tendency is to be a little harsh on that mindset because that used to be me. And it held me back.
I lived in California for a while, and I got connected with a screenwriter over there. At the time, I hadn’t written in almost two years. It was a lost passion of mine. But I still called myself a writer.
We were talking about writing, so the screenwriter asked me, “When do you write? What are your writing habits?”
And when I couldn’t answer him right away, I was so embarrassed. Because I realized that I wasn’t a writer. I wanted to be a writer — at least I thought I wanted it, but not enough to actually write.
Question(s) of the day: Are you a writer? Or do you want to be a writer? What does that look like for you?