I will preface this post by stating with an absolute certainty that I love (love, love) being a writer. It is what I am most passionate about. It is what gets me through most of my bad days. It is when I feel like I am doing the most good, in general, throughout the world. And most importantly it is, what I feel, is the best legacy that I can leave behind for my daughter, and her children to come after.
Having said that, some days it is hard to be a writer when that is your only source of income and when the thought of doing anything else for a living makes you literally cringe. People seem to think two polar opposite things about the life of a writer. They either think that you are basically using a hobby as an excuse as to why you don’t have what they deem to be a “real” job or they think you have large sums of money in which you are not even close to having. Now if you have made it like J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King, or James Patterson, or Terry McMillan, then sure, you do have large sums of money at your disposal.
However, if you have not made it to that milestone in your writing career yet, then you are just scraping by like any other average working person, it’s just not doing the traditional job. That does not in any way diminish what you do or make it just a hobby that you are trying to get paid to do. There is a huge difference in doing writing as a hobby and doing it as a career. The struggle is different. Once you make writing a career, it is not just about the sheer love of putting a fictional story, or even your story, on a piece of paper for all to see. It then becomes a business in which you must then market yourself and your work. You have now become a business in which you are your brand.
The business side of writing is what I sometimes dread because I have not always been the best at “selling myself” so to speak. I can sale anyone else’s work and promote many others but for some reason when it comes to me it gets difficult. It’s something that I have to get used to and get better at gradually but gradually does not garner me any immediate income the way that I need it to.
Writing is definitely not a career choice for the weak, or faint of heart, or for those that are looking for an easy source of financial stability. I look unstable to those outside of the creative spectrum and I even feel that way most days but when I look at it in terms of whether my child is taken care of and if she has what she needs (plus a few things that she wants) and if the basic needs are being met, then I have to acknowledge that my modest way of living is working for now.
True I can’t do outlandish extravagant things and I can’t get every little thing that I desire but it makes it so much more worth it when I can obtain those things because I know that I worked hard for them. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I love writing and I wouldn’t choose any other career. There are ones that I would love to do in addition to writing like singing and counseling others but nothing I feel as passionate about as writing.
If writing is something that you love to do, then ignore all of the days that you feel like it’s just not worth it. Ignore the feelings of you not being good enough to do this successfully. Ignore all of the days where a regular job seems like the only option you really have to have everything that you want and desire. Ignore the days that you feel like you’re not truly meant to be a writer because you can’t seem to promote yourself well enough. Your days of struggling as a writer may seem like they are just beginning but in the end, if you work hard, if you fight hard for what you want out of your career, then it will all be worth it. Work hard and struggle harder.
My Write 2 Be is…
Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine