Am I a wannabe writer?

The name I have for myself on my blog is “A Wannabe Writer,” but I sometimes wonder if that is appropriate.

It probably depends on what your definition of a writer is. If by writer you mean a profession, someone who writes for a living, then I guess the answer is no. Yes, I like to write, and not a day goes by without me thinking about writing, but in the end I lack the ambition, the drive and the fire to fully commit myself to this whole writing business. Calling myself a wannabe writer in this sense is an insult to all those others who truly aspire to be a writer. Of course, it should be mentioned that I do not consider “wannabe” a derogatory term. I see nothing wrong with people who want to be writers. In fact I applaud them. I applaud them for their passion and the sacrifices that I myself am not willing to make.

When I was younger, I dreamt of being a writer of course, but it was never realistic in the first place. Not so much from a talent point of view. Maybe I would have been a good writer if had made the commitment. And maybe I would have remained a bad writer. I truly don’t know. And that’s the thing. I don’t know because I never really tried hard enough. I never sought the boundaries, never pushed myself hard enough to become a better writer. It was nice to dream, to fantasize about it, but that was all. Sure, I started dozens of writing projects, but those attempts were really quite pathetic. They were always doomed from the start.

Looking back, I think the main reason was fear. For most of my life, the things I did, or to put it more accurately, the things I did not do were mainly driven by fear. Where this fear comes from, I do not know, but I’ve always lacked the courage to do the things I want, to be the person that I truly want to be. And so it is with writing. I’m always afraid that I would always be terrible. I’m always afraid what other people would think of what I write about. I’m always afraid that what is important for me would nothing to other people. As long as I only fantasize about it, I create this false sense of security. If I do not try, then I can also say that I did fail. Of course, life just doesn’t work that way.

But then a funny thing happened. I don’t remember when exactly or how, but at some point I just decided that it’s ridiculous to have this foolish notion of becoming a writer. So I let go of it. And I started writing more, much more than I ever did before. It’s not just all the stuff I write about on my blog, but also much more in my notebooks which will never be published, which will never be read by anyone else but me, but which I will keep with me. I started writing more not because I wanted to become a famous writer. It was never about that. I started writing more because I finally realized that I cannot not write. I finally realized that not writing is simply not an option. I write not to make a living. I write to make my life worth living.

So, let’s go back to the original question. Is the name A Wannabe Writer appropriate? Well, there is of course another definition for a writer than the one I mentioned above, which is much simpler. A writer is simply someone who writes. A writer is someone who writes despite his fears. A writer is someone who writes, even if the things he writes are insignificant and meaningless to other people except himself. A writer is someone who writes because a life without writing unimaginable and unbearable. And that is what I truly want in the end. To keep writing, no matter what.

So I guess the answer is yes. I am a wannabe writer. One day, I hope to call myself a writer.



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6 responses to “Am I a wannabe writer?

  1. No,not appropriate.I think everyone who has a blog is a writer,the only defining mark would be poor,good and great.From what iVe read of yours,you fall into the great category.Your blog is very well written,and leads me to want to read more.Youve done a great job!

  2. ashleylharnett

    I think you are a writer already too, like fallenangel39 says. I consider myself a writer, I am prolific – I blog and start fiction projects every other week – I rarely have the drive to complete things but that doesn’t change the fact that I am a writer. Even if you never finish, being a writer is not based on publishing or even completing but on action… You aren’t a wannabe, you just are…

  3. Ishana

    I agree with the others, if you are someone who cannot not write, then you are a writer. I used to have the same problem you did with being afraid to write. I wanted to just be a good writer, right from the start. I didn’t want to start off and have people look at me like I’m trash, just because I’m not great at writing yet dare to call myself a writer.

    I got over that though, and I openly admit I’m not the greatest. I’m probably not even publishing quality yet. And I’m okay with that! In fact, I love it! As it means I have a journey ahead of me in which I can learn and become a better writer.

    In that sense, I think all writers are the same. We all constantly learn more and more about this path, and our love for it grows. Perhaps a more suiting term would be “A Wannabe Better Writer?” Not to say you’re not good writer to begin with, but who doesn’t strive to become better at what they love? Just a thought.


    • Exactly! We all want to be great writers immediately we sometimes forget how much effort you need to put into writing to become better. But we persevere because this is who we are.

      I can be a bit harsh on myself, although I do that on purpose sometimes. By calling myself a wannabe writer, I force myself to become better and not to become complacent. I need that reality check sometimes. And anyway, like I mentioned, I don’t necessarily consider being a ‘wannabe’ writer as a bad thing. But maybe your term is more accurate. In the end, we all strive to become better writers.

      Anyway, thanks for the comments. I very much appreciate them.

  4. Teo

    Well, as a writer (professional) I dare to say you are a writer. It has nothing to do with bank accounts (money coming in). I guess you are in doubt because maybe you would like to – some day – be a professional one, which is maybe why you consider yourself a ‘wannabe’ now.
    But, as you know, I am hardly objective 🙂 Anyway, keep up the good work!

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