Am I a Writer Yet? When Can I Honestly Use That Moniker?

in Freewriters2 months ago (edited)

Hello Dear Reader. Thanks ever so much for stopping by, it is so much more than appreciated. As this is my first time sharing my thoughts on being an 'actual' writer, it feels like I am laying myself bare about my insecurities.

Just in case this is your first time on my humble little blog I should probably give a brief introduction.

My name is Steven, I’m a random, wordy, some may say verbose, technophobic, English guy hurtling towards 50 at a rapid rate of knots & I have been writing a blog online & trying to overcome that technophobia for a little over three years.

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I remember discovering this wonderful community named Stee... Hive, I loved the idea of it not being a traditional blog. I was intrigued at the prospect of being rewarded for my content in cryptocurrency, subsequently, this has helped me learn so many varied disciplines all under the umbrella of one stuttering, incrementally improving, journey.

I am sure many here can relate to this feeling regarding the brave new world of blockchain & cryptocurrency.

I remember so clearly the nervous hesitancy I felt as my finger hovered over the ‘publish post’ button of that inaugural post.

A million thoughts, fears & questions hurtled through my tiny mind, causing me to second guess every sentence, musing, or punctuation mark.

I have more than a tinge of embarrassment in telling you, that first post took me 14 bloody hours to complete. I edited, reworded & shuffled every sentence, every paragraph a hundred times.

I read my ‘masterpiece’ aloud slowly & deliberately & realised that I stood one hundred percent behind every idea, statement, & nuanced thought I had laid bare & I smashed the publish button.

I did not anticipate the intense rush I felt, knowing I had shared my thoughts with the world, however insignificant that particular perceived achievement was to the rest of the inhabitants of Earth.

In a time when many feel they no longer have a voice, ordering & sharing your thoughts, feelings & ideas can be an outlet that promotes a feeling of both catharsis & of being heard also.

There is, however, a cost as well as a benefit to putting your writing ‘out there’.

Most people feel self-conscious, nagging doubts in the back of the mind when doing so. They wonder if they will be judged & found wanting when it comes to skill, command of language, relatability, & even challenged on the validity of their opinion or hypothesis.

'Imposter syndrome' is REAL!

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At a time when many are cancelled, de-platformed, or shamed for inadvertently triggering any of the burgeoning plethoras of cultural or political tripwires, sharing your thoughts can be treacherous in 2021, to say the least.

Usually though, for the newer writer, amateur writer & of course the aspiring writer, the vast majority of concerns & fears stem from feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt & our incredibly familiar, wholly unwelcome friend ‘imposter syndrome'.

The benefits of writing, vastly outweigh the drawbacks though, at least I have found that to be true for myself. It has helped me understand my own beliefs & opinions as I am constantly challenging them as I order & contemplate my well-chosen words on the page before me.

My critical thinking, creative thinking & lateral thinking have benefited enormously as I often read the thoughts of others on any given topic & have expanded my wealth of knowledge massively.

Most importantly of all, I feel I am playing my part in promoting & engaging with a medium that many proclaim to be dead.

In the digital age, video, audio & ‘instant hit’ content has in many areas, surpassed the written word. Content has been hijacked by the corporates to fuel rabid consumerism. Every word needs to be monetised, gain clicks or be part of a wider ‘call to action’.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Whoever the hell ‘they’ are

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I would rather take a thousand words, thanks. There is a way to cultivate a narrative, to expertly craft a story, when harnessed correctly it fashions a picture in the reader's eye that leaves nothing to interpretation.

I was always the kid who maxed out the number of books allowed on his library card. I don’t think I was ever viewed as a nerd, but I loved to read & I loved to learn even more.

I always dreamed of being able to write like the authors I admired so much. I am still light years away from realising that aspiration. I’m not certain I ever will, but I enjoy trying to.

When I began writing I thought I was doing ok. When I look back at those early efforts now, I see I was utterly appalling. This is fine though, in fact, it’s precisely how it’s supposed to be.

If we started as polished experts in any field of endeavour, what would we ever aspire to?

Surely the real payoff is in seeing how far we have come since adopting & constantly practicing a new skill. I have always believed in incremental improvement in any area that feels important.

I remember some years ago, my youngest daughter telling me she was sad she was always last out of 30 classmates in long-distance running, that she wished she could be first for once. You can probably guess the truncated, slightly clichéd version of the story. I told her to aim for 29th instead of the almost unattainable 1st position.

Long story short within a matter of weeks, rather than months she was consistently finishing in the top 5 or 6 & occasionally finished first, the visible confidence from this crucial mindset shift was clear for all to see.

Although far from ‘award winning’, my writing has made similar progress, albeit over a far more protracted period. It is pleasing for me to reflect on this & constantly re-evaluate where I can make the next improvement.

Back to the question I posed in the title:

Am I a Writer Yet?

Will the answer become obvious at some later stage, will there be heavenly harps & a mystical revealing?

Worse still, will I be trapped in a perpetual loop of wondering, plagued by self-doubt & ravaged by feelings of unworthiness?

I think there are several answers to this question, most would of course be subjective in nature. The underlying implication is one of questioning being ‘good enough’, which prompts a further question, good enough for who, or what?

There is a school of thought that says, if you write often, ideally, every day, you are a writer. I would elaborate slightly & say if you write often, assess where you can improve & follow-through, improve & evolve, you are a writer.

I am currently at the cusp of what I call ‘phase II’ of my journey to become the writer I want to be. I have hundreds of blog posts behind me but now, want to step up my game with regard to structure, story arc, flow, & formatting.

I guess the short & somewhat unsatisfying answer is that, yes, you & I are writers if we actively engage in writing, but acknowledging the amount of progress we must make to be considered ‘credible’ by our peers is essential.

A writer is a world trapped in a person. Victor Hugo

Do you consider yourself to be a writer?

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Do you have any hard-won wisdom that has led you to accept that moniker without question?

We, humans, are strange creatures indeed, so impacted by the perception of others, so insecure in our oft awkward self-awareness.

You & I need only make the proclamation of precisely who & what we are & the course is set. If we are truly willing to undertake the learning, constant, self-reflection & do what we know we must when we should, we have ‘nailed it’.

The benefit of knowing we are not a tree & thus rooted to the spot should be enough to inspire us. Forward is the direction in which greatness is to be found.

Belief, work & commitment to the craft will trump inherent ability every time.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

If you are an aspiring writer still unsure of where you rank in the hierarchy of competence, forget about it!

Write like it is the only thing left in the world, pour your heart & soul into the words that fall to the page & simply enjoy the process. Writing is supposed to be fun, if there is no fun involved, you’re doing it wrong.

I wish you all the luck in the world with any endeavour you choose to turn your hand & mind to. If you truly commit to the process, however, luck won’t be a factor you will need.

I originally wrote this post for another blog I tried my hand at, so if you thought earlier that it sounded like I was over-explaining what Hive is, you are right, I was.


Thank YOU for taking the time to read my post & if you're one of those amazing people who like to hit the comments section... Then I doubly thank YOU!

Either way, I want you to know that you are appreciated!

Keep taking the time to connect with each other both here & in the 'so-called' real world & try & look after each other, because as you already know...

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I am an incredibly proud member of #TeamUK I love the global community immensely, but it is nice to have a home-team banner to add to my posts. The banner was made by the inimitable Roastmaster General himself @c0ff33a If you are an active UK member & would like to be added to the team UK community on Discord, just let me know 😎

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I remember three years ago starting a journey on the HIVE blog. I am not confident enough to start a blog in English. But if I'm stuck using the native language: Indonesian, I won't be able to reach many other readers.

There are many of my friends who say my English is bad. But while sad at that time, for some reason I kept writing :D and here I am now.



I have a dream to be able to write as good as my favorite author "Paulo Coelho" although like you said, it will take millions of light-years :)

The most important thing is that we have to maintain our authenticity from within. Be careful with the flow of digital convenience that can kill authenticity.

Keep writing!

Hi @stevenwood,
Thank you for participating in the #teamuk curated tag. We have upvoted your quality content.
For more information visit our discord https://discord.gg/8CVx2Am


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Writing is supposed to be fun, if there is no fun involved, you’re doing it wrong.

Couldn't agree more. I spent years working professionally as a writer… and I pretty much hated it. The writing industry has a way of crushing creativity and burning people out. I don't miss it at all.

Oh now let's be fair, they are just doing their corporate duty, breaking you down and stuffing you into a box that represents their own vision for your talent, the reason they employed you in the first place. 😁

I have met a lot of writers online over the last couple of years due to one project idea or another. It's uncanny on just how many occasions I have heard a remarkably similar experience.

I haven't had time to comment yet as I get very behind with replying to comments on my workdays but I loved your free-write. It made me belly laugh out loud a couple of times and if that isn't one of the top 3 reasons for existence, then I don't know what is. If I did have one criticism (and we gotta be honest about such things, right?) It could have done with more Pink ponies and purple giraffes, don't be artistically offended, it's just a suggestion!

Take good care, cross paths soon 😎

Aha! The old "more pink ponies and purple giraffes" critique—how many times have I heard that one before ;)

Glad you enjoyed my freewrite!… I'm always happy if I'm able to make people laugh :D

Cheers 🍻

Gracias por compartir tus pensamientos amigo.

amazing post steven!

I remember hating writing growing up and really had no confidence in writing because during school I was always attacked verbally by my teachers who would moan and moan but never offer a way too improve.

When I joined HIVE/Steemit I was afraid at writing but you and other amazing people helped me and now HIVE feels like home for my writing, maybe one day I will write my first book.

I know a couple of stunningly fantastic teachers, many mediocre, bored, uninspiring ones, and several diabolical ones. Teaching, just like nursing, should be a vocation, if the idea of helping people become better doesn't make you jump out of bed in the morning those jobs are not for you.

The key part Chris is in knowing that their words can never sum up who you are or define you, you are above being told what you are and what you are not. Here you are putting out regular pieces of content and becoming better all the time.

I remember you saying that you were a little unconfident about your voice too when I stumbled across one of your early streams. You sounded surprised when I said you sounded relaxed and in control and you spoke well. I bet you never thought to go over to the mirror and congratulate yourself lol

Here's the thing though, you should, you are improving constantly and doing things that make you feel out of your depth, go you, mate!

Most important of all, you are a bloody nice lad and I wish nothing but the very best for you, sod the teachers, what the hell do they know?

keep going, keep breaking new ground and see where life takes you. 😎

hey man wow, you sure wrote A long comment hehe, No complaints it was A good read.

Thank you so much for the kind words man I am really thankful and yes I started using my voice more often and that was because of your advice A while back so thank you for that steven.

I hope you are well and feeling great again steven great to see you creating on HIVE again, always a joy to read your posts. :)

You are one of my favorite writers on here Steven, you are one of the best to be honest. Damn straight you can call yourself a writer xxx

Haha thank YOU so much, my friend. I get a lot from writing on the topics that matter to me, so even if I felt I could never achieve whatever the magical benchmark is in my head, I enjoy it immensely and it has enriched my life no end.

Encouragement and wonderful comments like this help that insecure part of me inside, no end. Thank YOU for taking the time and for caring.