I often receive emails about writing many of which sound like: “I don’t fancy myself a writer but I can see how it would be super beneficial! Any advice on getting started?”
If you’re actually interested in receiving some advice on how to get started with writing then send me an email to let me know and maybe I’ll write an in-depth article on it, but for now I want to highlight one point.
You need to stop aspiring to be whatever it is you want to be, and just be it. You cannot become something you don’t think you’re capable of becoming, and similarly, you inhibit your ability to become that person when you’re constantly telling yourself that’s not who you naturally are.
If you keep telling yourself you aren’t a writer, you’re going to be forced to fight and overcome your own subconscious in the pursuit of becoming one. If you tell yourself you aren’t much of a reader, you will never break into the habit of reading. If you tell yourself you aren’t good at drawing, you never will be.
Almost nothing comes to anyone naturally. Raise a child in complete isolation from the world and they won’t naturally become a writer because they won’t have a written language to use, they won’t naturally take up reading because they can’t read, they won’t naturally become the next great tennis player because they don’t even know what tennis is.
What we take as natural ability is actually a result of our surroundings, what we’re exposed to, and what we’re able to experience.
If you write, you’re a writer. If you read, you’re a reader. If you run, you’re a runner.
Please note, you do not have to be a good at writing to be a writer. You do not have to read with ease to be a reader (I still greatly struggle with reading, it by no means comes easy to me). You do not have to be fast to be a runner.
I came across this image years ago and frequently come back to it as a reminder.
Just be an author. Just be a writer. Just be a reader. Just be a designer. Just be a runner. Just be whatever it is you want to be.
No one will greet you at your doorstep to knight you as a writer. You must take ownership of that title.
I continually have to remind myself: to get better at writing—write. You are as much of a writer as you allow yourself to be.