“I’ve got a golden ticket.” We all know those words. We all wish we had that golden ticket. It is a free pass to all your wildest dreams. It also doesn’t exist. There is no miraculous piece of paper that will make your every fantasy come true. Maybe a lottery ticket if you are beyond lucky, chances are though you are just like me and still waiting for your lucky draw.
Let me back up a bit to yesterday, Bobbi and I were having lunch and she asked me if I could fill in on this month’s Writer’s Tips. Now if you are here, I’m guessing you’re in Scribblers, or you may have stumbled onto this site by accident, either way you’re in for a treat. Scribbler’s are some of the most friendly and supportive people who are all here for the same reason. Writing.
I have done some guest blogging before, but never here. This is Writer’s Tips and all those people who have given their words of wisdom before me, published writers. I’m not and that’s a concern. Who am I to give tips to anyone about writing? I was dreadful in English. I can’t map a sentence to save my life. Stab me with a spork before you ask me to spell. They lead to the same level of pain. So why would anyone want to hear anything I have to say?
I realized only yesterday that I’m scared. Not to write this post, but to call myself a writer. There is a level of commitment once you say those words. To call one’s self a writer is to give a part of yourself over to a creative juggernaut that you cannot hope to control. Do I write? Yes. Does that make me a writer? I’m not sure. I know I love writing, that being able to put down on paper the scenes that rage inside my brain keeps me on this side of sanity…rather than the padded cell side. Yet, I’m not published. I have a handful of rejection letters to my name.
So what makes me qualified to give anyone tips on writing? I am where we all must stand at one point or another, the threshold of doubt. Am I good enough? Will anyone like what I have written? What if I fail? There are a hundred, maybe millions of other questions that can do as much damage. Each will eat away at your soul if you let it. Doubt will slowly erode your confidence until you no longer wish to look at your manuscript. The very thought of picking up a pen will make you feel ill.
No one becomes a writer for the glitz and glamour of it all. If they did, I’m afraid they fell for one of the biggest tricks out there. What are the odds of becoming a Rowling, Tolkien, Martin, or Poe? The odds aren’t good. I doubt they started writing for the fame and fortune. You’ll have better luck finding a golden ticket. You don’t become a writer, you just are a writer. You write because the thought of not writing kills you inside. You become a writer because you have something that you need to tell the world, even if no one will listen. You can become a better writer, a published writer, even a world famous writer, that part is up to you. Whether or not you are a writer, only you can say.
Look at yourself in the mirror. That is the one person you must be accountable to. Do they have a story to share? If the answer is yes, then get your butt in the chair and start writing. Congratulations you are a writer. Even if your story is never seen by thousands, even if your story is never seen by a dozen other people, you are a writer. Stop worrying about the what ifs and focus on making your story the best it can be. Titles belong on book covers, not on the people who write them.
So to sum up my tips: If you want to be a writer, write. Don’t worry about what you call yourself.
What ifs are only there to hold you back, let the future worry about them.
Write for the right reasons, not in the hopes of being the next big name. If it happens congratulations, if it doesn’t at least you wrote what you wanted.
To all the published authors keep the beacons lit and help guide those of us on this side to the finish line. You are the ones who inspire us and prove that it can be done, even without a golden ticket.