Earlier today I tweeted, “You’re not an “aspiring writer”. You either write or you don’t. Do, or do not. There is no try.” I added the hashtag “meantwithlove” since I did not want to appear overly harsh. It’s just that, I saw the phrase on the profile of someone who I know IS an author/writer and it maddens me to think that they don’t believe that about themselves.
Now to be fair, it’s possible that they are defining “writer” as “a writer who has been published” and perhaps that’s a valid definition. It was even proposed by Indiana Jim that “author” was the word for that and that the person might be an aspiring author, not having been published yet. I could, and am tempted, to quibble and say that Webster makes no such distinction, but as a writer I know that words have connotations separate from their dictionary definitions.
Rich Asplund is probably being a bit more honest when he said “that’s why I call it as it is I’m a wannabe soon as I get off my ass and do it consistently I can remove wannabe”. Being a consistent writer is part of being a successful one, but even if you’re not consistent you are still a writer if you write, an author if you are creating. What “consistent” means may vary from person to person, but I think that writing a few hundred words daily is a good place to start. With that your writing should improve and it will become easier to write more. Are you in the place Rich is, and do you wanna stay there? He doesn’t.
If you aspire to be something, whatever it may be, and the power is in your hands, then stop aspiring and do it! Arguably the “getting published” part is not something in your control, but if you aren’t writing regularly and submitting what you write are you really aspiring? If not, that’s not a bad thing by itself. It just means you should leave that word in the dust collecting at your feet. Remember that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.
The problem with the word “aspire” is, too often it’s used in the past tense. “He aspired to a career in medicine.” (Maybe he just should have gone to med school?) I would hate for anyone who wanted to be a writer or a painter or a doctor to never arrive simply because they took no steps towards the goal. So to you, writers, I say strip that word from your profiles. Write! Paint!
Cut people op- Go to med school! If you aren’t going to do something about it, then you have no recourse when you fail.
To put it another way I will quote J.C. Hutchins:
Step 1: Do nothing.
Step 2: Complain about results.
Step 3: Do nothing.
Step 4: Wonder about same results.
Step 5: Whine.
Step 6: Repeat.
Is that who you wanna be? No! So, get out there and do, or do not. There is no aspire.