Never Be Afraid To Be Called A Newbie

Over the last couple of years, as I have grown as a writer, I have seen my own growth. I have also seen people come and go from critique groups, at conferences and retreats, and online as they pursue their dream of writing.

Here is a fact: Writing is wonderful and easy, writing well is not always wonderful and is never really easy.

Because of this, once you have been around for a while, you hear the word “newbie” thrown around. Depending on who is saying it (and hearing it) it has different meanings.


  1. General – A newcomer who is inexperienced.
  2. Seasoned Writer – A newcomer who is inexperienced, often said with fondness as the writer reminisces about what it was like to once be a new writer.
  3. Growing Writer – A newcomer who is inexperienced, often said in denial that they were once recently asking the same questions.
  4. Newbie – A newcomer who is inexperienced only does not realize that they are because they write well and these people just don’t “get it.”

When you hear the word, you will quickly fall into one of these definitions. It is a good gauge as to where you are in your writing career.

But this article is for all the Newbies out there. Don’t be ashamed of being a newbie.

Do you want to know why? It really isn’t a secret. ALL of us where newbies at some point and we will often become newbies again in some different manner.

So, embrace it! This is your time to make mistakes, to ask “dumb” questions (and ask a lot of them, it is the best way to grow), and believe in yourself. A word of caution though, if you ask questions, be open to listening. One of the things I tell my first graders is the only dumb question is a wasted question.

Since you are new, you have a whole world to explore and experience!  Try something new. Learn. Grow. Read.

When you hear someone refer to you or your work as “newbie,” though it is hard, don’t take it personally. Use it as a growing experience. Ask questions. What about me is a newbie?

Here is another word of warning: You may not like the answers, especially those from growing authors who may think they are not newbies, but are often still are. They are just nearly newbies? Slightly usedbies? Narcissibies?

The truth is, authors are for the most part caring people who know what it is like to be a newbie. I can not tell you the number of people who have tolerated my newbie questions (and honestly still do).

To all those veteran writers, be careful how you use that word. You may not mean anything by it, but it could hamper someone who is not confident. Define for yourself what it means so that you can use it to help those that need it.

And to all the Narcissibies, grow up. If you answer their questions, you might just learn something yourself.

Author: matthewlasley

I am a school teacher and an author. I like to write picture books, middle grade, science fiction and short stories. I live in Alaska and I love history, so those two things often influence my creative writing.

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