Stop waiting for permission

I’ve always written. But I haven’t always called myself a writer.


Somehow, it felt like a title that had to be bestowed by someone else. As though as some point I would reach some kind of indeterminate level of professionalism which would qualify me to actually ‘be’ what I doing. I had already had a few freelance jobs, so I knew people were willing to pay me for working with words, but still, in my mind, that wasn’t enough. Surely there was some official signifier that I hadn’t hit yet.

Except that no-one actually does ever tell you you’re a writer. And so one day, I just decided. I ordered some business cards, and right underneath my name, I had them put one word –



I stopped waiting for permission that would never come. I realised that when it comes to a lot of things, it is in the doing that we come to ‘be’.

No-one may ever come to you and inform that you are now, officially, a writer. A filmmaker. A web designer. A photographer.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t.

At some point, you have to stop waiting for permission. You just have to decide.

You have to decide that you’re serious about this thing.

You have to decide whether you honestly believe you have the talent and the commitment to thrive at it.

You have to decide that you might actually have something in your heart, hands and head that can be a positive contribution to the world.

And then you have to decide to run with it. 


Which is to say, you have to put in the work, of course. Just because you decide, doesn’t mean that your work is suddenly the same as the guy who’s been doing that thing for a couple of decades. But it does mean that there’s nothing stopping you from continuing down the same path of learning and practising and honing until it is.


Is there something you’re waiting for permission to pursue fully? Maybe today should be the day you decide to stop waiting!