Recently I’ve seen some blogs criticizing people who choose to call themselves aspiring authors. The argument goes that since you’re writing, you’re already a writer and it somehow brings shame to the profession to describe yourself as anything but an ‘unmodified’ author.
Luckily, there’s always room for debate on every issue. Personally, I find no shame in the title aspiring writer or aspiring author, and I’m even a little proud of it.
I have a job I love and if people ask me about my profession, this is how I define myself. Even if I were to earn a decent living from writing, I’d be in absolutely no rush to leave my day job.
Fiction writing is something I do in my free time. I would love to be published one day and I enjoy working toward that goal, but until I sign my first publishing contract, I feel more comfortable calling myself an aspiring writer. This does not reflect a lack of seriousness on my part and it’s certainly not meant to demean people who call themselves writers before they are published. It’s simply how I feel more comfortable using the term.
I also think it reflects the pure joy of writing. After all, before you’re a published author, your only deadlines are your own. While critique feedback is extremely helpful, you don’t have editors or agents insisting on major changes to your plot or characters.
I’ll certainly take those ‘inconveniences’ as the price of being published one day, but an ‘aspiring author’ has a relative degree of freedom we may one day envy.
So, what do you think, writers? I’m curious to hear your views. Do you find the term aspiring writer to be demeaning? Or are you proud of it? Or do you consider ‘writer’ to be the correct term for all people writing – whether or not you’re published?