I Don’t Want To Be A Writer

February 5, 2012 at 11:00 am (Writing) (, , )

The bookstore is a natural habitat for writers. While doing rounds of customer service or answering phone calls or ringing people out, there’s at least one person every day who tells me “I want to write” or “I want to be a writer”. They check over the books on writing, the Markets, the notebooks, and they dream about writing.

And I call shenanigans.

Because you don’t want to write. You write.

You put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and you write. Aside from all question of skill or talent (and they are different), aside from any thought of craft or polish, you can write. So long as you can communicate in any way, even in dictation to a person or program, you can write.

No matter how busy your schedule or how hectic your life, you can make the time to write. Even if it’s just a few minutes here and there.

Saying “I want to write” is an excuse. It’s an admission of your decision, perhaps subconscious, to let it remain a dream.

So don’t want to write.

Just write.

In everything about this craft you’ve chosen to pursue, that is the one thing you can control. Publishing? Publishing requires a lot of external forces. You can work and work hard but there’s never a guarantee, because the process of getting published requires so many other people. It makes sense to say “I want to be published” or “I want to be a writer” because that’s something over which you do not exert complete control.

But what you can control is what you do to help that dream come through. Don’t allow yourself the excuses or the procrastination or the niggling doubts. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it or shouldn’t do it. Just do it.

I don’t want to be a writer.

I am a writer.

Because I write.

So write.

Until next time~


  1. K.Moger said,

    How true.
    For every moment of artistic expression I have delved into, there has always been a long line of people who have always wanted to do it. I sometimes wonder if there is always a Lemming in the crowd going “I’ve always wanted to jump.”
    If you must play music, you are a musician, If you cannot go five seconds without an itch in your fingers to mold something into something or stir paint into picture, you are an artist. If you cannot keep the stories, the characters from invading your every thought, you are a writer.

  2. Steve Lovelace said,

    Have you ever read anything by Steven Pressfield. I read his book, “The War of Art” a number of years ago, and it transformed me from a wannabe into a writer. He also has a blog where he hammers home the “just write” message in a hundred different ways, knocking down every excuse you can think of.

    Thanks to Pressfield, I’m proud to say that I AM a writer. Everyday.

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