I am not fond of the phrase Fake it til you make it.
I understand the concept – we must first conceive before we can achieve – but I take issue with the semantics.
To me “fake” means untrustworthy. A fake friend is not loyal. Fake jewelry is cheap. Someone who is faking is essentially lying.
I do not want to be fake. I want to be authentic. But is my authentic self a writer – or just a writer wannabe?
This week I realized if I want to become a writer, then I first need to act like one.
Rather than faking it, however, I am choosing to imagine myself an writer: what she looks like, how she lives, what she does… and then I will do those things. Consistently. Until I actually become an author.
Because I have a difficult time with self-accountability, but I respect an academic syllabus, I am beginning this process by taking a 3-credit hour class. I am going to read the writing books sitting on my shelves and actually do the exercises at the end of each chapter. A typical college course involves three hours of class time and about six hours of homework. I will therefore plan to dedicate 9-10 hours a week to my writing career. I imagine an author devotes that kind of time to her craft.
I currently have two works-in-progress: a non-fiction memoir and a middle grade novel. Besides the book exercises, I plan to work on one or both of these each week as well. For now I do not have a deadline for completion – or even a weekly writing goal – but I’m sure that will come in due time. While a writer simply writes, I imagine an author determines to complete projects and is not content with just journaling and writing prompts.
I also need to develop a confident answer to the constant question: what do you write? For I imagine an author would not simply smile meekly and admit she is still trying to find her niche.
For now I write, but I imagine myself becoming a writer in the not-too-distant future.