Stop Saying “Aspiring” Writer

I’ve been pretty busy the last few days. My parents came to visit and as a result I haven’t blogged or gotten any writing done. Naturally, I feel as if I’ve been living without a fairly important limb. I can’t express how happy I am to be back to doing both today.

What I want to address on my first day back is a question I get fairly frequently, and I think anyone who writes for money probably does as well. It is some variation of: “Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?” I have two answers. First, just write. I wish it was more complicated than that and any number of famous authors, from John Green to Stephen King have given the exact same advice. (They’re a wee bit more qualified to give the advice than I am.) For more of my thoughts on that issue, see my previous post here.

Second: please stop calling yourself an aspiring writer. The moniker doesn’t even make sense. You’re aspiring…to write? If you are truly an aspiring writer, please see my first answer. When most people designate themselves as an aspiring writer, what they really mean is that they aspire to be published/make money/be famous etc.

So I say to you, wordsmiths of the world, drop the “aspiring” from aspiring writer, because as your high school English teacher undoubtedly told you (or if he/she didn’t they disappoint me greatly), you should declare your point of view as if it were a fact. And in this case, it is a fact. You are a writer if you are putting words to paper, or word processor, or even napkins. Harry freaking Potter was written on napkins. <

Some of you may be saying that this is a stupid thing to quibble about. That it’s just semantics. To those folks I say: you have chosen semantics as a career. If your own life isn’t a proper place to declare them as important, then where are they important?

What do you tell people when they ask about your writing? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @shutupcabbage. Also feel free to tell me what you’d like to see on this blog, questions you’d like me to answer, etc.

As always, happy writing.


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