Quite a few people have this idea that being a writer is something to aspire to. And in a way, it is. It’s a wonderful and meaning profession, in much the same way that a garbage collector is a hallowed profession.

Oh wait, did I offend you there? Why? You don’t think garbage men work hard at their jobs, or don’t deserve the recognition that you do?

“But I have to write!” I hear someone exclaim in the back. “That makes me a writer!

Well, I have to eat. Does that make me a professional food taster?

I have to drink. Does that make me a wine connoisseur?

Even if you have some strange obsession or disease that compels you to write, day in, day out, regardless of what is going on with your life, I will not be impressed.

What will impress me? Simple. If you call yourself a writer, do your upmost to become a better one. Don’t sit there and tell the world that you are a writer and that you deserve recognition, accolades or publication.

Prove to me, and the world, that your going to win that Pulitzer or that Newberry award. It’s just a matter of time, dedication, and your growing set of skills. I don’t care if it takes you until you’re 50, 85, or 114 years old.

I’m more impressed by ten rejection letters, than I am by someone accepting one of your short stories. I am more impressed by notebooks filled with seemingly false starts than I am by a single pristine novel on your bookshelf.

Why? Simple. All those rejections, all those false starts, all that frustration shows me that you’re trying to be a better writer. That you’re not giving up. It proves to me that you’re willing to give it another go, despite an avalanche of criticisms and naysayers barreling down at your door. It shows me that despite living in a world where so many people feel entitled simply because they can, that you’re willing to come to the table, work hard and maybe, just maybe become a better writer than you are today.

So the next time you’re complaining about not having the support you desire, or the recognition you want, think back as to why you started this journey in the first place.

Are a writer because you want the accolades, fame, and million dollar publishing contract?

Or is it because you want something more?

© 2019, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.

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