I Am a Writer

Titles are funny.

In the work force we strive to be given a great job title by our employer. Director of this, Coordinator of that, it helps us feel accomplished, important, and most of all it validates our worth. Yet, in the things we're truly passionate about, we find it difficult to title ourselves.

As I studied music in college and heard many professional trumpet players, I found it difficult to call myself a musician. I wasn't even close to the skill level of some players, and was far from considering myself a "professional." Then one of the worship directors at my college said,

If you get paid to play your instrument, then you're a professional.
That sounded pretty reasonable at the time, and since I was occasionally paid to play in various churches, I felt comfortable enough to call myself a musician. But is getting paid for something give you the right to title yourself? Or is it measured by your skill in comparison to the landscape of those in your field?

I think it's neither.

Jeff Goins, is an author, blogger and speaker and he has a great book titled You Are a Writer, So Start Acting Like One. To summarize, Goins basically says if you're passionate about writing, and you know you're called to do it, then you are a writer. You just need to start writing.

You don't have to wait till you make enough money to call yourself a "professional" in a field. And you don't have to have written ten books to call yourself an author. Maybe you haven't ran a 5K marathon, but jog every morning at your own pace. Maybe you can only play one song on the guitar, but you practice daily and continue to improve.

You are a writer, a runner, a musician.

But the idea of self-titling is not for boasting or showing off. It's for your own motivation.

In the signature of my personal emails, I've now listed myself as Stephen Robles, Writer. For my work email signatures I retain my job title, but personally I call myself a writer. I haven't written a complete book yet, and writing doesn't always come naturally, but I have written many articles, blog posts and tutorial works.

Maybe I'm not a professional, maybe I am, but I do write, and I am passionate about it. Not only that, but I will continue to blog, author and strive to become a better writer. Don't let fear of calling yourself something you're "not," hold you back from trying to become who you want to be.

Keep writing. Keep running. Keep practicing music. Keep gaining knowledge so you can one day be comfortable with calling yourself a __________________.