There is a misconception that all aspiring writers have. They are not willing to accept themselves as writers till they have published a book or an article or a short story. They are over the moon if their story wins an award because now they can call themselves a writer. There is proof now. Someone has published their story and given them an award.
But it is a fallacy.
You were a writer before your story got published. Weren’t you? You wrote the story first, then you sent it for publication.
And chances are you wrote a lot many stories before you sent one in a competition. I can bet my last dollar that you had written much more before you wrote those stories. A diary. A journal too maybe. Some poems. Occasional letters. You have written them and that makes you a writer. Then why don’t you call yourself a writer?
It comes down to acceptance. You are not willing to accept the value of your own work. You are looking for authentication from someone else. To give you permission to add the title of ‘writer’ in front of your name.
I have been writing for at least sixteen years now. It took me at least ten to call myself a writer in front of others. Like many aspiring writers, I failed to see that publishing a book doesn’t make you a writer. It makes you an author. And the two are separate terms. The writer is the one who writes and the author is the one who publishes her writing. You become a writer first and then you become an author. So start calling yourself a writer. And when you publish your book you can call yourself an author.
Use this philosophy to bury the critic inside you.
Focus on the ‘verb’ of writing and ‘noun’ will follow.
Write, and if you are writing, you are a writer.