Who Do You Want to Be?

Mindset and Practice are Key

A while back, I sent an email to a friend, encouraging him to join a writing critique group that I attended. I explained that it was a group of other educators and that many of them wrote young adult fiction, an interest of his as well.  

Guess what his response was? “That sounds like fun, but I’m not sure if I would have anything to offer. I’m not a real author, and I’m really not a writer;  a real writer would write more than I do.”  

Do you talk about yourself the same way?  

Do you say you’re a writer wannabe, or maybe an aspiring writer?  

Do you say you’re not a real writer?  If you were you’d write more, have something published, sell more books?  

How do you know if you are a real writer? What is the standard or measurement for labeling yourself a writer or an entrepreneur or a singer or whatever? 

Writers write and if you do that, you qualify.  Along the same lines: Entrepreneurs start up businesses.  Singers sing. Teachers teach. 

It’s time to stand up and announce boldly and confidently your mission. It is hard to expand into a new territory, but there are a few things you can do to move forward and gain the confidence to become who you want to be, even when it is uncomfortable.

Change Your Mindset

If necessary spend some time practicing what to say until it comes naturally.  “I write young adult fiction.”  or “I write a blog.” or “I write fortunes for Chinese fortune cookies.”  Be proud.  Be bold.  Be confident.  Be excited! I know that it doesn’t feel natural. I know that sometimes it feels fake and phony.

Sometimes though, the hardest person to convince of the truth, is yourself! Remember my writer friend that I invited to the critique group?  He’s already co-authored one book and has a whole young adult book completed. Yet he did not feel confident enough to label himself a writer. 

Practice, practice, practice

Commit to developing your talent. Take a writing class.  Hire a signing coach.  Write a business plan. Find an accountability partner who will keep you on track. Be committed.  Be intentional.  Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but the more you practice the more natural it will feel to announce your mission.   

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. 

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  ~Howard Thurman

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