I have never troubled myself with a preoccupation over the question, “Am I a writer?”
I simply write.
Sometimes I do a decent job. Sometimes I’m in complete doubt about its quality.
The most important thing to me, however, is that I do it at all.
For me, to write is to have something to say and to face the challenge of trying to get your point of view across. I have something to say. I’m willing to face the challenges involved with saying it. So I choose to write.
Does that make me a writer? I have no clue. That’s other people’s question to answer. Some will affirm it. Others will deny it. But I will have nothing to do with those discussions.
My job is to do the work, writing or otherwise, that my heart compels me to do. My job is to keep finding ways to say, “Yes!” to what makes me come alive.
It’s not my job to convince others that I deserve some kind of special label or title for what I do. And it’s not your job either.
Instead of defending your status as a writer, as a creator, as an entrepreneur, or whatever, why not use that time and energy to show up for the work your soul summons you to perform?
It’s far more important to do the work than it is to debate your status as someone who does that kind of work. Actual participation in the creative process has way more value than any in-group label you could chase.
We all have interests and ideas that we want to explore, but sometimes we get stuck in an identity game of thinking, “I need to be the kind of person who does X before giving myself permission to experiment with X.”
That’s a trap.
You don’t need to define yourself as someone who does interesting things as a prerequisite for doing the things that are interesting to you.
You don’t need to know all the answers about who you are before you can begin being true to what fascinates you in the present moment.
You can create before you settle the identity debate.
And here’s the paradoxical thing: you’ll come up with better ideas about who you really are by trying to create things than by trying to figure out if you’re the kind of person who has the right to create things.
The question is not, “Am I worthy?”
The question is, “Am I willing?”
An Exercise for When You Feel Unworthy
I have a little ritual that I perform every month or so. It’s simple.