Dear “Aspiring” Authors // How to Stop Aspiring & Start Being

a letter to aspiring authors who need motivation and inspiration to write


Let’s get the obvious out of the way. “Aspiring” is in quotations because if you are writing, you are a writer.

You have to earn the right to be called an author, but you know how you do that? Not by being published, but by writing. 

If you’re writing, you’re a writer. An author.

You’re doing it, not “aspiring” to do it.

Maybe you’re actually not writing, though. Maybe writing is getting pushed lower and lower on your list of priorities. That’s okay. But it has to change.

I’m not saying you have to write every day. No, that’s actually how burnout works.

Writing doesn’t have to be the number one priority in your life. But writing does have to be priority. 

Books get written when their author shows up and write.

Even if you’re only giving your writing 10 minutes of your day, consistently give your writing 10 minutes of your day.

I know. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

Writing is frustrating because you put so much work — YEARS of work — into getting your book out into the world. Years of work before your hard work “pays off.”

Even before a debut, there are probably several other unpublished books that won’t see the light of day.

All of those books took a lot of work, no doubt.


It’s hard not to feel defeated when the story you have in your head doesn’t translate onto paper in quite the right way.

That’s okay. Because writing is FUN, right? Writing is our passion. We breathe stories and bleed words.

I know that’s easy to forget. Writing is hard, don’t get me wrong. But that doesn’t mean we have to dread it.

I’m going to take a stab and say that a lot of writers have a shaky relationship with their writing. And I think I know why: there’s not really any external validation until you get published.

So what do you do? Suck it up and chug along until you snag an agent, sign a publishing deal, hit a bestseller list?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

This is where the disconnect is.

You do NOT need to aspire for external validation.

Let me say that again: the only thing that makes you a writer, an author, is WRITING.

If you’re unhappy when writing, if you’re dreading your writing sessions, if you’re waiting for this freaking first draft to be over so you can start the second then edit the third then query the fourth, stop.

Writing is all about the journey. It’s about taking an idea and turning it into a book.

If you’re not enjoying the journey, if you’re not enjoying the process of writing your story then why write?

I can’t stress this enough.


Writing is hard, but I think we talk a little too much crap on our passion.

We whine and complain and do what we do because “I have all these words in my head and I just have to write them out but I hate every minute of this.”

Writing isn’t all butterflies, unicorns, and rainbows, but if you’re writing, you’re doing something you’re passionate about.

That’s pretty amazing.

I’m not saying if you dread and endlessly procrastinate your writing sessions, you should quit.

I’m saying that you should find a way to change that dynamic.

Find a way to let writing fill you up instead of drain you.

I wish I could tell you exactly how to do that, but changing your relationship with writing is a journey in itself.

Start with gratitude. Be thankful for your passion. Be thankful for your creativity. Be thankful for the time you have to work on your book.

If none of that works, then maybe it’s time to write a different story.

Write the book you want to read. That’s how you make sure that everyday you’re sitting down to a blank page of an awesome story that has yet to be written. And guess who get’s to write it? Yeah, you.

I once saw a tweet that we should all feel like Leslie Knope when we’re writing. How would she treat her story? Treat your writing like its a waffle or Pawnee.

Stop aspiring to be anything other than what you are right now.

Start loving your writing.

Once writing makes your soul happy, you won’t need publication or awards to update your status from “aspiring” author to author. Writer.

Stop aspiring and start writing.

coffee divider-2

Let's Talk!

How’s your relationship with writing? What are y’all working on this May? How can you give your stories a little more love?

a letter to aspiring authors who need motivation and inspiration to write



Author: Madeline Bartson

Writer, bookworm, Hufflepuff. Fueled by caffeine and writing dreams. I want to share tips, tricks, motivation & inspiration for turning dreams into reality.

26 thoughts on “Dear “Aspiring” Authors // How to Stop Aspiring & Start Being”

  1. This was such a motivational read! Thanks for expressing it so beautifully! 😀
    I’ve found that trying out different short stories has really helped my writing blossom compared to just focussing on my own WIP novel. Having that rich variety of stories to build from has really expanded my writing so that I love what I do. Hope your own writing goes well! ❤ 💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 🙂 I can definitely see why short stories would help. They also probably take the pressure of your novel, which must be nice. I’m so glad you love what you do! Thank you for all your kind words Tom. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure does make it easier! 😀 Plenty of chance to try out stories short enough for one sitting, but long enough to engage the reader (hopefully) 😉
        Thanks for sharing such valuable advice, as always. Good luck with your writing journey & hope graduation goes well! ❤


    1. Thank you! 💛 I also still like the word aspiring lol even if I’m not a huge fan of the connotation that it gives “aspiring authors” compared to “actual authors.” Maybe “ambitious author”? Because trying, enduring, and persevering is so important!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙌🏻 🙌🏻 yes, Madeline! Even better than preaching that writers are those who write regardless of publication is your advice: “If you’re not enjoying the journey, if you’re not enjoying the process of writing your story then why write?”. Writing is, and should be, something you enjoy. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I, too, think writing is a journey. One where you miss a turn here and take a dead end there, one where the destination is shrouded in mist until the end. The reason I found myself fond of the journey is probably that, when I go for a hike in the hills, it’s alike. A journey that can surprise me any time.
    And, because I still feel like I have no real idea what I am doing when writing, I am reluctant to get rid of the “aspiring” tag. But I do my best, at my own weird schedule – instead of small doses of daily progress, I take huge chunks (often half a day or more) several times a month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Progress is progress no matter how you get it done! 🙂 That’s awesome to hear that you enjoy the journey so much. I think it’s such a huge part of writing, that it would be a shame to not enjoy every minute of it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this so much! For a while, I had the ‘aspiring author’ mentality. Recently, I have become more confident in my writing and making it a significant part of my routine, and that has allowed me to enjoy the process over only focusing one exterior goals. I always enjoy reading your weekly posts, and I really appreciate the advice you offer, especially towards younger and more experienced authors, here 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Zoe! 💛 Yes, it’s all about enjoying the process to achieving dreams, not just the actually achieving part. I’m so glad you find my posts helpful! Thank you for always being so supportive and awesome. 🙂


  5. Oh what a very, very, very motivating kind of post, I love it SO much and it inspires me so, so much. Definitely keeping this one in my bookmarks, thank you so much for everything you do, Madeline ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is wonderful and exactly what I needed… I may have to pin this to my bookmarks bar so I can read it once a week and remember what my priority is! I especially love what you said about treating writing the way Leslie Knope would. She’s such a wonderful and inspiring character, even when she’s totally ridiculous, because she puts her whole self into everything – which is exactly what we need to do as writers! Thank you for sharing this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you! I’m so glad it hit home for you and I’m honored to be in your bookmarks bar. 💛💛💛 Leslie Knope is life goals. You’re right she’s sooo ridiculous lol but I just want to be that unapologetically enthusiastic about something. Thanks for reading and commenting, Christine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol, threat is like Leslie Knope would, like a waffle or Pawne.

    You’re so right: I’m call myself an author and I’m not published (yet), but I do put in the commitment to my craft and I’ve written a few novels.

    Aspiring should only be used in context to the goal; I’m a writer aspiring to get an agent and be published.

    Thanks for this motivational post. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like the Leslie Know reference Lorraine haha! Oooh, I really like the idea of using aspiring in context to the goal. That makes way more sense, and that way, it’s not becoming our identity. Thank you for reading and commenting, I’m glad you found it inspirational. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg this post is so touching and inspiring I teared up 😢💛 You just so beautifully expressed what I have been struggling with lately and I really feel like I need to print out your post and just look at it every time I’m starting to habe my doubts again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww you are too sweet! It is totally okay to have doubts, all writers have them, but don’t let them hold you back. You are so capable of turning your writing dreams into reality. I know you can do it! 💛 I’m so honored that you found this post so inspiring. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this post so much. I absolutely agree that it is about the journey, not about the endpoint. When I am busy and stressed, I sometimes do think “have to finish this draft before starting the next one”, as if it is just one thing to check off my to-do list. But it is so true that we should re-think the writing process if we’re not even enjoying it. These days I try to be easier on myself and set goals that motivate me without burning me out, and it’s working wonderfully 🙂 Thank you for my dose of inspiration for today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Sophie! 🙂 I’m so glad I could offer some inspiration. I totally get what you’re saying. As soon as it becomes another thing to do instead of a chance to work on my passion, I see that as a sign that I need to take a break and reevaluate what I’m working on. That’s awesome you take on goals that motivate you! 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

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