“It takes ten to fifteen years to become an overnight sensation.”
My experience in the past six years has been, that it may be easier to become a writer today than to believe that you are one. And the world of writing is pretty much set up to maintain this status quo.
How do we establish ourselves as writers today? Some follow the freelance route, which has changed dramatically with the demise of thousands of newspapers, magazines, and their replacement with the Internet.
Others write novels and non-fiction books and then struggle for years with the traditional route of agents and publishers. Still others take the blogging and self-publishing route to private sales and recognition.
None of these routes offer much reinforcement in terms of sales or recognition for perhaps years into your career. So how can you begin to believe that you are in fact “a writer.”
“To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy.” – Winston Churchill
This is the internal work we must all do to change how we see ourselves. It can be in fact a daily struggle to believe that you are now a writer. I had a wake-up call recently which called my attention to this fact. A friend said to me, “You are well on your way to becoming a well-known writer, but in your mind you are still a mediocre librarian.”
If I do not begin to honestly see the major transition I have been through in the past six years, and fully acknowledge this change, why would anyone else?
One thing I know for sure: I now think like a writer, observing everything around me from the writers’ perspective, taking notes constantly while watching TV, films and even after some conversations. I now live in the writers’ mind, so I might as well accept my fate.
“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin