It’s not a secret that I fancy myself an aspiring writer and that I recently decided to take it seriously. When I first made this decision though, I couldn’t bring myself to actually say that I was a writer. I didn’t believe I was one. At least not yet. Because what have I produced besides this blog and a young adult story over at Wattpad? Not much. And even though I’m working on some other projects, I still don’t have anything that can be shared. So settling for aspiring writer feels more realistic.
Then I read this book called “You Are A Writer So Start Acting Like One” by the author Jeff Goins. In this book, he encourages his readers (presumably all aspiring writers) to grab a pen and paper and write down the words, “I am a writer.”
I did the exercise and wrote out the phrase a few times. I completely understood the message behind the exercise. It wasn’t just about writing it down. It was about owning it. It was time to stop aspiring to be a writer and start being a writer.
Oh, but then doubt started to fill my head.
How could I just start saying I’m a writer? Surely I’m supposed to wait until I have something successful to show for it. Right?
This doubt eventually gave way to the fear that had parked itself in my brain the minute I decided to do something with my writing.
Fear told me that I shouldn’t call myself a writer just yet. Doing so would give me an out in case my writing stunk. If I don’t say I’m a writer, then it’s ok if my writing sucks. It’s expected. Fear also told me to down-play this blog and anything that I wrote on it. Fear said, “Mylee, don’t take it seriously. That way, when you fail, it won’t hurt so bad.”
A bit of a predicament, wouldn’t you say? I want to be a writer. I have writing goals. I actually started writing. But filled with so much self-doubt, how would I ever make it past this blog?
I knew I had to find the courage somewhere. I knew that I couldn’t get it from the people around me, any books that I read or podcasts that I listened to. It had to come from within. It wasn’t going to be easy. But I had to do something before all this self-doubt consumed me into shutting down.
That’s where courage comes in. And in my case, it’s the wobbly kind.
Have you heard of wobbly courage? Wobbly courage is courage’s younger brother. It doesn’t look quite like courage but it’s close. It’s shaky, scared and uncertain but it still pushes forward and tries. Wobbly courage keeps us moving in the forward-march direction. It is really all we need to get started.
Darren Rowse from ProBlogger states that wobbly courage is still courage.
For me, wobbly courage is better than no courage at all.
And so here I am with my wobbly courage saying it outloud, putting it in writing, and sharing it with the world:
I AM A WRITER. I am a writer.
And guess what, guys? Being a writer makes me happy.