I used to ask every writer I could find, “How do you write?”
I wanted to know:
● Did they use a typewriter, write longhand, or use a computer?
● Did they have an office in their home?
● When did they start each day?
● For how many hours?
● Where did their ideas come from?
● How did they secure a contract?
● Am I a writer?
● What would it take for me to get published?
● Can you look at my manuscript and validate me?
Now that I am a published author, I recognize the futility of those questions. Validation is for parking receipts. No person can give you enough affirmation for you to call yourself a writer. Your mother can’t do it—or your spouse. An editor can tell you glowing things, but unless you believe in yourself, you’ll always be looking for more.
Whether you’re a writer isn’t the call of a publisher, a reviewer, or your family. You must decide. You must commit. Many will say you aren’t a writer. Still others will seem to validate you—but only because they want you to pay them to print your book.
The only validation you can count on is your gut. The fact that you sit down every day and write—instead of just talking about it—shows you believe. You call yourself a writer by faith. You exercise your writing muscles even when you feel you’re flailing in the dark.
Some days I still don’t feel like a writer. But on the days I do, it’s not because of what someone said. It’s because I believed enough to sit down and write.
Chris Fabry is the author of more than 70 books. His latest novel is Borders of the Heart. He hosts a live, daily call-in program, Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. Find out more about him at ChrisFabry.com.
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