Coming out of the author closet

Does your inner author hide behind a metaphorical bushel or are you brave enough to say the three little words so many of us stumble over – I’m a writer?

When can you legitimately call yourself an author? Perhaps you think it is when you have sold 1,000 copies or at the very least obtained a legitimate publishing deal. The Oxford Dictionary defines an ‘author’ as the writer of a book, article or report. So surely until you have finished your book, you are not actually a proper author? After all, a doctor can’t call himself a doctor unless he or she is qualified and even then, he or she is often referred to as a junior doctor.

These are all valid points but thankfully writing is not brain surgery, and as a coach who has helped hundreds of people achieve their goals I know that making a simple shift of mind changes everything and if you wait until you have finished your book you could be seriously hampering your success.

So you need to come out of the closet you’re hiding in and first announce to yourself and then to others that you are a writer or author. This is because if you want people to take you seriously you have to believe in yourself.

If you want success you have to do three simple things:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Understand how real writers think and behave
  3. Adopt the persona of a real author and take action

Believe in yourself

You may not be the best thing since Dickens but as a writer you have a talent and every day that you work on your craft your skills will improve. There are millions of books in print, but they are definitely not all modern classics. So write what you enjoy and the chances are that some of the billions of people on the planet will enjoy it, too. It’s not just a case of increasing your self-esteem (though that’s great), but you will find that like magic your work improves. As the American industrialist Henry Ford famously said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”

Understand how real writers think and behave

Writers who believe in themselves, and their goals and aspirations, write with confidence and diligence.  They make no apologies or excuses for being glued to their laptops, obsessed with their craft.

Adopt the persona of a real author and take action

Even if you have to fake it at first, if you want to make it as a writer you need to apply yourself as you would if you knew your first book would sell a million copies. If success was guaranteed your writing would not come right at the bottom of your priority list after reorganising your sock drawer or watching reruns of Murder She Wrote.

The fact is you become a writer when you decide you are one and when you stop caring what others think.

At The Writers’ House UK we are dedicated to helping writers at all levels to write their book through our book coaching programmes. We will then publish their work via our self-publishing service and promote it via one of our custom-built author websites with blog. To check out what we have on offer, join the growing number of other real writers at www.writershouse.co.uk.

Rebecca Richmond, The Writers' House UK

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