Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Aspiring Writer"

Aspiring Writer. I see this term all over the Internet, on TV, in movies, everywhere, and it always carries such a hopeful, yet negative connotation. I admit there was a time when my profile description on Twitter read aspiring writer. I have since changed that.

According to Webster, aspire means to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal. As an aspiring writer, it would then mean to seek or to accomplish being a writer.
A writer is someone who has written something. It is also defined as someone whose work is to write books, poems, stories, etc.

Based on these definitions, it is safe to say that someone who writes, is no longer aspiring, but rather is someone who is in fact a writer.

All that being said, there is some unknown reason that writers believe that unless their works are picked up by an agent, editor, publisher, etc., their work is of little value and therefore, drops them back into the aspiring category. I find this to be cruel and unfair.

The writing world has been evolving since the beginning of the Internet. I can remember querying my first work through the mail. There was quite a few photocopying, envelope licking, and stamp sticking. It was quite the process. But when email picked up, it made the whole thing so much easier. Easier doesn't mean better, though. Email made the querying so much faster and accessible that I imagine agents became inundated with queries, which in turn muddled the process. Now, the agent world is incredible subjective, and with so many more queries this meant that the odds of getting an agent decreased exponentially. More and more writers switched to aspiring because there were no words of affirmation.

Then the indie world blossomed into something I don't think anyone could have imagined. It is now possible to write a book one day, publish the next. This definitely doesn't mean the quality hasn't decreased, but it has given authors a chance to see their words in the world. It means more eyes can see the work of the masses who were passed in the subjective world.

I would love to say that everything I write is good, but the reality is that it probably is not the best it could be. I am trying though. I've put out two books via create space and I have the pleasure to see dozens of kids reading my work. Even if it's only local, I am making a difference in kids' lives. Because of this I am not an aspiring writer. I am a writer.

I hope that more writers start to see themselves in the same light. We, as a collective, need to stick together and build each other up. We need to stop the self promotion and start promoting each other. I am not saying to stop querying agents at all. I do believe that if you want to see yourself in the major distributors that is the path you want/need to take, but I also believe that if you choose to go on your own, you are still a writer. We all are. I say no more to the "Aspiring Writer" tags so many want to use. Drop the "Aspiring" and keep the "Writer" because that's exactly what you are.

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