There’s No Such Thing As “Aspiring”


There is no such thing as an aspiring lawyer, just a law student.

There is no such thing as an aspiring doctor, salesman, mechanic, or engineer.

It’s assumed that if they stick with it they’ll be fine. If they get the right credentials and go through the system they’ll be fine.

When we look at writers, actors, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs we feel the need to tag them with “aspiring”. Why?

I can’t think of a better reason than that we need to tag them with “you haven’t made it yet, ya dingus.”

That’s bullshit.

If you write, you’re a writer. If you act, you’re an actor. If you’re building a business, you’re an entrepreneur.

You might be a failed writer, actor, or entrepreneur; but don’t pretend you aren’t one.

Van Gogh never got close to supporting himself with his paintings yet we understand how absurd it would be to call him an “aspiring painter”.

I get physically nauseas when someone tells me they are an “aspiring actor”. You either act or you don’t.

You’re a real person doing real things. They might suck, they might not make money, and they might not gather a crowd. They’re happening though, because you’re doing them.

The poet Charles Bukowski worked at a post office while he wrote poetry. He wasn’t aspiring, he just wrote poetry.

Hugh Howey wrote Wool while working at a bookstore.

It’s hard to do the thing if you consider yourself “aspiring”.

“Aspiring” is an excuse to give less than 100%. It’s a way to feel miserably okay while you keep sucking.

A real writer writes. An aspiring writer doesn’t (although he’ll think and talk about it).

That’s it. No outside permission necessary, just doing the thing. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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