Five Reasons Why I’m Not Qualified To Be A Writer

  1. I did not complete my first novel at the age of two. Nor did I win any international literary prizes whilst attending primary school.
  2. I  was never a child who devoured books by torchlight under the bed covers whilst my parents assumed I was sound asleep. I actually was sound asleep.
  3. I do not get up at dawn and creep across a dew soaked lawn to a spider infested shed in order to write. (See previous post When and Where Should You Write).
  4. I have totally pathetic powers of observation. I seldom notice minor details such as what people are wearing, or the colour of their hair, or if they have any teeth.
  5.  I have no heart-wrenching story burning deep within my soul screaming to be let out.

Five Reasons Why I Am Qualified to be a Writer

  1.  I have a stubborn, if unsubstantiated, belief in myself as a writer and refuse to be defeated by rejection.
  2. I read a lot; I know which books I love and which books I don’t and I make it my business to understand why.
  3. I don’t allow myself any excuses not to write every day (well, almost every day).
  4. What I lack in powers of observation I make up for with my capacity for empathy. If I happen to notice someone is toothless I will do a magnificent job of identifying with their feelings on the matter.
  5. I only feel like I’m truly myself when I’m writing.


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9 Responses to Five Reasons Why I’m Not Qualified To Be A Writer

  1. Meg says:

    I love this! Especially the last reason why you’re qualified to be a writer. Also this just makes me angry at people who talk about all the cool stuff they accomplished when they were 12.

  2. I think your reasons why beat your reasons why not. I wouldn’t even beat yourself up for not writing each day though I know myself that when I don’t I sleep less well. I wonder at the difference between writing and being a writer. I have played guitar for thirty years but don’t think of myself as a guitarist because I have never performed in public. So I guess we only feel comfortable calling ourselves writers when we publish, in any public forum.

    • claudia says:

      Yes, I’d agree with that distinction. I certainly write with a view to being read and will probably only feel worthy of the term, writer, if and when I’m published.

  3. Jan Hopper says:

    I think you were born to write, Claudia, because, above all else, the urge to do so is unremitting and inexhaustable. 🙂

  4. Jan Hopper says:

    Sorry, that should be “inexhaustible”

    • claudia says:

      Thanks Jan. You’re right. It’s a compulsion that I think will always be with me, whether or not I ever achieve any ‘success.’

  5. Abbey says:

    There is a pressure to be at a certain level or standard when it comes to any subject, and I think it’s great that you are not that way. I struggle as an actor, because I didn’t start until I was in high school, but I believe in it enough to continue. The joy comes from involvement, while putting aside judgement. If anything, you’re creating a new kind of writer that will inspire others to follow. 🙂

  6. T. A. Miles says:

    Exactly! Do what you love, what you’re passionate about, and what brings you to life/keeps you alive and you. There are no qualifications or prerequisites to being an artist, barring one’s own mind, heart, and soul(and any of those, at times, may also have to be defied).

    • claudia says:

      Yes, the pressures and limitations are all in our own minds. In the end, you either need to write, or you don’t. And I do!

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