The word that I am referring to is a plague. It is a disease, a stigma, a stumbling block, a crutch. It follows you around, whispering in your ear things like,
“You’ll never be good enough to be taken seriously. Your dream will never come true. You’re just not good enough.”
I despise this word. I loathe it with every fiber in my writer’s soul. It is a canker that festers and never goes away, if left unchecked. And the worst part about it all is that I know this word has had (and is having!) a detrimental affect on thousands and thousands of other Christian writers from all around the world.
It may be hurting you, as well. It may be killing your creativity or drying up the ink in your pen.
For writers in general, this word is a stall. It is a title we give ourselves because we’re stalling and not traveling in the direction we want to go. It is a sign of waiting. We don’t like to admit it, but this word is killing us and our writing careers. It is for this reason alone that we need to erase it altogether, saying farewell for good, never looking back.
The break-up needs to happen. And soon. When you confront this word face-to-face, don’t let him down easy by saying, “It’s not you. It’s me.” Don’t do that to yourself, because it isn’t you. It is him! Or rather, it’s it. It is the problem, not you.
What’s the word? Here it is below, in all of its fake modesty, denial, and veiled pride…
Ugh! I want to cringe when I think of the word aspiring, and here’s why. That word has been my crutch for a few years now when I describe myself as a fledgling writer. Oh, I’m an aspiring writer. I’m an aspiring author. I’m an aspiring artist. I’m an aspiring…
Do you see the problem here? It is a stall tactic. A crutch. A plague. It is always whispering into your ear,
“You’re not there yet. Not even close. You might as well pack it in and find something else to do with your life, because you’re lame.”
The good news, however, is that there is a cure. The cure is free and simple, but it takes courage to achieve it. All you have to do is make the decision—once and for all—to stop using the word “aspiring” when you define yourself as a writer. Just stop using it altogether. Today. Right now. Stop stalling and start creating. You owe it to yourself.
I’ve started doing this myself. During this past week, I’ve been going through my social media descriptions and “titles” for myself, deleting this word from existence. It is sad how many times I have described myself as an aspiring writer. Doing this has been a liberating experience, let me tell you. The weight of self-consciousness has been lifted for good. The crutch has been broken in half, the plague cured, and I’ve said farewell for good. I’m finished with that relationship, forever.
What about you?
Are you still aspiring to be a writer, or are you a writer? The difference comes in the decision to stop calling yourself names, giving yourself labels, and just be who you are. You are a writer. Now start acting like one.
Dictionary.com defines this word in a very interesting way. What I find even more fascinating is that it mentions writers as a way to describe its usage. That tells me this word is an obvious plague for writers, and it needs to disappear. Here is Dictionary.com‘s definition of aspiring:
“to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value (usually followed by to, after, or an infinitive): to aspire after literary immortality”
Do yourself a favor today. Go and delete that word from every description you have ever given yourself. Make it disappear. Delete it from your vocabulary. Just do it. You owe it to yourself, your art, and your readers.
Why? Because readers read the words of writers, not from people who aspire to write one day.
QUESTION: Have you been guilty of using the word “aspiring” to describe yourself as a writer? How can Christian writers get over the hump of being nothing more than aspiring?
Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts.
*Image credit: Alex E. Proimos (Creative Commons)