The first step to is to call yourself a writer.
Jeff Goins of Goinswriter.com said that we start being writers when we call ourselves writers. Joshua Fields Milburn of The Minimalists said a similar thing about “aspiring writers” who just aspired all over themselves without doing any real work.
I was terrified to do this out loud. What if people ask if I’ve published a book yet (I haven’t) or if I have a literature degree (I don’t.) What if the “real writers” judge me? (Oh look, I drove myself into a panic attack.)
Turns out, no one cares about me. And that’s a good thing because the first few attempts at something are bound to suck.
Writers write. That’s all there is to it. Who’s to say what a “real writer” is, anyway? Neil Gaiman didn’t have a fancy literature degree. He just wrote a lot and got better at it. Speaking of Neil Gaiman, we should take his writing rule to heart:
“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule of life as well as for writing, but it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best as you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules, Not ones that matter.”
– Neil Gaiman, 8 Rules of Writing