10 Signs You’ve Upgraded To Being A Serious Writer

Of course, you’re a writer if you write. The act of putting words down on paper to create a story is the very definition of being a wordsmith, but what takes you from wannabe writer to writer, and then upgrades you to a serious writer?

Spoiler alert, actually writing is only a small part of it.

10 Signs You’ve Upgraded To Being A Serious Writer

1. You’re not afraid to show others what you’ve written.

2. Receiving rejections from agents and publishers no longer stings (as much).

3. Sending a query or submission doesn’t fill you with (complete) fear.

4. You’re happy to pass on the advice that you’ve learned to other writers.

5. You’re writing daily or regularly enough that actual pages are being added to your MS.

6. Ideas for stories come thick and fast. Your creative brain is always on.

7. You’ve started a social media account or a blog dedicated to just your writing.

8. Walks and commutes to work are soundtracked to writing podcasts instead of music.

9. Your TBR pile now includes non-fiction books about editing or the craft of writing.

10. You have money put away for writing courses and/or professional edits.

A writer might start off their journey as a wannabe, daydreaming about ideas or noting down a few lines of purple prose every now and then. One day, they might decide to give writing a “real go” and get as far as a terrible first draft that languishes in a drawer. It might be years later still before they learn more, practice more, and apply those skills to the next manuscript, the next draft, the complete rewrite, and the endless edits before finally typing, “The End”.

If they’re consistent and work hard, they may even get to write “The End” on multiple manuscripts, but being a serious writer isn’t about completing as many WIPs as you can, it’s about what you do with those pages of gold afterward.

No true wordsmith wants to spend all that time writing a book that no one else will ever read. Give your MS to family, friends and beta readers. Submit to publishers. Enter writing competitions. Launch a blog. Start your own writing podcast. You might not see all the signs in yourself yet, but even if you can only cross off one or two on the list above, you’re well on your way.

Be a wannabe until you’re a writer, but then don’t forget to upgrade to being a serious writer and do something with what you’ve written.

— K.M. Allan

50 thoughts on “10 Signs You’ve Upgraded To Being A Serious Writer

  1. I think I’m getting there with a lot of these. I still feel sick as the thought of showing my work to others HOWEVER, I have promised it to a few to look over as soon as my next edit is complete. That is a huge step forward for me, so I think it is right to be top of your list. As for rejections…I have received none! Woo go me, no rejections! Oh yeah…only because I haven’t submitted anything yet 😉 I know for a fact I will take the first 50 like a slap to the face, but imagine it truly does get easier to accept over time.
    Great list! Made me feel confident that I am making my way forward 😀 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, M. I’m looking forward to being one of your beta readers. It’s a huge step, but also one that gets easier. Rejections will always sting to a degree (how can it not?), but if you think of it more like you’re crossing the people who can’t help you off of a list, it allows you to move to the next lot quicker.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s no problem at all. I’ve done it for some other writers recently and really enjoyed it. Hopefully I’ll be able to give you the feedback you need/want. Should have something ready for you very soon too. I’m hoping by the end of next week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope that one day I’ll lose the fear of sharing my work. Even offering it to my gaming friends felt like a huge step for me, with not-so-small amount of fear.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the support. I already got some tips from my friends and even though some were points I did not want to see, I managed to accept them for the better.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, i guess i’m more on the number 5 and 7, and a little bit of number 6.. I’m not that good at this stuff but i just love to write, write and write what’s on mind.. 🙂 There are times that my ideas will just burst out suddenly, afterwards, i’ll grab a pen and started writing.. I want to share it all to people, but not yet.. I’m preparing for it.. Am i considered as a writer? Or maybe just a wannabe? Haha.. ^___^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I consider myself as a novice writer and not an author. I have three self-published books and a blog site. Until I’m recognized by authors my writing as good, then I will continue to consider myself a novice and not an author

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thankyou KM. I have recently started to get serious with my blog. I have only started to write things that are on my mind and things that sometimes I just wont be able to express to others, but in my heart of hearts, I have always loved writing. Getting others to read what I have written is the next step, but probably the hardest to conquer!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Am I a Writer or an Author? | Stevie Turner

  7. Enjoyed reading this it make me feel that yes I am a serious writer as I can tick all but 2 and 3 and I can’t tick them as I am ploughing through my MS, targeting completing it by the end of the year. Thanks for the encouragement. I enjoy following you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Getting a response creates interest. Style and individuality are important and there will be those who criticize because they have fixed and constrained views. Readers discover new writers and you need to accept that not everyone will like your novel , due to the genre or era you write in.
    Writing is a journey. Unless you are preparing a memoir or biography, publication of a novel later seen as a station on that journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Emily Wrayburn

    I let a friend read some of my WIP while I was reading her short story a couple of weeks and I have to say, I wanted to run for the hills! Though I think that was mostly because I was sitting right there. Sharing excerpts on my blog doesn’t fill me with anywhere near the same kind of trepidation. I need to get back to podcasts and start listening to some writing ones – any recommendations? (Apart from So You Want to Be A Writer? which is already on my hypothetical list).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awareness of arrival is when someone says a ‘I enjoyed/ liked/ appreciated reading your book.’ Didn’t really believe progress was made until that happened! Sales are obviously the life blood of a truly professional writer, but affirmation that readers have read your story. poem, novel and respond positively is key to personal writing achievement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! I haven’t gotten there yet as my book won’t be published until next year, but I’m hoping to have that kind of arrival awareness then. Thanks for reading 😊.


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