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  • Writer's pictureA.N. Tipton

The Journey of a Writer - Part 1

Updated: May 7, 2022

Am I a Writer Or Not?



I used to call myself an aspiring author. This was when I had an unhealthy relationship with my Inner Critique. When I allowed my insecurities and fears of being seen dictate my creativity. My Inner Critique encouraged me to put my words in a box, to hold them close with the belief that being vulnerable and seen wasn’t safe.


So, in the past I aspired to write. But I still wrote because writing was like breathing for my soul. The words might have been placed in a box, but they begged to escape my head, my fingers, my heart. Characters would cry out for recognition. Scenes would replay in my mind until I was forced to sink into the feeling, textures, emotions and fluidity. And when I would call myself an aspiring author, I’d ignore the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach at the declaration.


I was in the closet. Hiding, holding on to some pointless shame, and the belief that I wasn’t good enough. The term Aspiring Author sometimes paralleled Closet Writer.


Then one day I came across an article, and for the life of me I cannot remember where or by who, but it called out the words Aspiring Author. It brought up the question, do you aspire to be an author, or are you an author?


I admit, I sat with this question for a long time. I realized I was holding myself back, taking baby steps, showing my work to a very small amount of people. I would write and rewrite the same piece until all the color leaked out and richness of the process fell flat. It was never good enough, or polished enough, or the plot wasn’t developed enough. Any excuse or justification was acceptable and perfectionism became a form of procrastination and self sabotage.


My Inner Critique would sit on my shoulder, with devil horns and silky lies, whispering into my ear words of doubt and criticism. This would bring me to compare my unpublished work to that of the work of my published, favorite authors. I was comparing my worst to their best. Because that’s a healthy benchmark, right? Thank you, Inner Critique.


Fast forward to the present. I now call myself a Writer. Perhaps there will be some out there who’ll want to point out the difference between a writer and an author, and that’s okay. The thing is, I’ve been on a journey. A journey of self-exploration, acceptance and growth as a writer. I like how Writer sounds to my ears. I like how Author feels in my solar plexus.


I’ve decided to push my Inner Critique off my shoulder, silence the constant whispering and embrace my words, my freedom. And, yeah, in the spirit of transparency, quieting my Inner Critique is a constant battle. She cab be contentious b!+©# sometimes. And yet the more I do it, silence her, it gets easier and easier.


So here I am. Authoring, not aspiring.


(More to come on the journey of a writer.)


Previously published on July 2021 on Medium.com.

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