I’ve met many people who talk about writing.
Writing is something they’ll do later: maybe next year, as soon as life slows down, or when they retire. But if we catch up with them next year, when life has slowed down (does that ever happen?), or after they retire, I suspect they’ll still be talking about writing in the future tense. In reality, they’ll never get around to it.
Other people talk about writing just like the couch-potato sports nuts talk about sports. Both have passion, opinion, and information, but neither could actually do the things they talk about, be it to write or to play—or if they tried, it would be most pathetic.
Then there are the has-beens. What a sorry lot. Just as the 40-year old, out-of-shape desk jockey still talks about the big high-school game and what might have been, these dreamers reminisce about winning that third-grade writing contest (so did half the class) and how things could have turned out differently, if only life hadn’t messed up his plans.
Lastly, are the name-droppers. Whether it’s business, volunteering, or writing, they act as though they know everyone who’s important in the field, have insider information and think they’re just a bit better than the rest of us common folk.
The truth is none of these four types of writers will ever write anything of value; they’re merely aspiring writers. If you call yourself an aspiring writer, review these four categories. If one of them describes you, then it’s likely you’ll never actually write. However, if these don’t describe you, then stop aspiring and start writing.
Real writers don’t talk about writing; they sit down and do it.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.