I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I used to think that I couldn’t call myself a writer.
I thought that being a writer meant that I had to be published.
No published books = not a writer (or so my mind told me)
Thinking of calling myself a writer made me feel anxious, undeserving, and imposterish. I mean, what if a “real writer” found out and called me out on my lie? What would happen to me then?
I not only kept my desire to be considered a writer to myself, but I also kept any writing that I did hidden. I put myself in a constant state of comparison with those out there who were sharing their writing (whether published in book form or not) and I played it small.
It was not fun.
Now that I think about it, it’s no wonder that my students struggled so much with writing. Because I had such a narrow definition of what it meant to be a ‘writer,’ I’m sure they picked up on my beliefs and made them their own.
One day, I got brave enough to dip my toe into the blogging world.
Once I did, I started connecting with other teachers who were doing the same.
What I discovered is that there are many, many of us who struggle with calling ourselves writers. It wasn’t just me.
This is something that many of the teacher-writers in my Time to Write Workshop have discovered too. They come to Time to Write very nervous about showing up and daring to call themselves writers. They are sure that everyone else who is there is most definitely more writerlyish than they are.
And you know what? They are pleasantly surprised.
Because everyone who is in Time to Write (and I do mean everyone), is there to help each other see that calling yourself a writer takes nothing more than participating in the act of writing.
Putting words on the page.
One of our mantras (and we have many) is “If you write, you are a writer.”
Then we put words of all kinds behind our mantra -- journaling words, poetic words, notebooking words, reflective words, book drafty words, letter-to-a-friend words, story-composing words….all kinds of words.
Through the act of writing, we have shown others -- and ourselves -- that a writer is someone who writes.
Being together in our little Time to Write Community helps us reinforce that belief in ourselves because we see our friends doing the same.
So if you want to call yourself a writer, all you need to do is write.
If you need some reinforcement and support along the way, come write with us in the Time to Write Workshop.
We’d love to show you all the ways that you ARE a writer!
Jen Laffin is the founder of Teach Write LLC and Jen Laffin Coaching. She loves to help teachers grow as writers because when they do, their students do too! Jen invites you to be a part of the Teach Write Community by joining one of the workshops for teacher-writers inside the Teach Write Academy. Interested in working one-on-one with Jen to take a deep dive into all the ways your brain holds you back? Visit her coaching website here to learn more.