So many people love the idea of being a writer. They envision themselves on a talk show discussing their latest “creation” and laughing all the way to the bank. But being a writer is so much more—and less—than that.
Here’s an idea of what you can expect as a writer on the less than fun side of things:
Rejection: Yeah, get used to it. Very few writers sell their first book. Even if a publisher/editor loves your book, she’ll probably ask for revisions. Only actors and ugly toads face more rejections.
Revisions: Once you’ve made your book “perfect”, then the publisher will undoubtedly ask you to change it. Once you’ve made your book “perfect” for the publisher, then she’ll pass it along to an editor who will probably ask for more changes. Once you’ve made your book “perfect” for the editor, then she’ll go through it again (okay, several times) and make more changes. Trust me. By the time you’re through with edits you’ll know every word by heart.
Loneliness: Writing is a solitary venture. Unless you have a writing partner (which has challenges of its own), you’re going to be pushing this “baby” out all by yourself. You’ll spend hours in front of your computer, at all times of the day. I have four dogs who lie at my feet when I write. But they don’t make good conversationalists so sometimes I get lonely. After all, who do I invite to go to lunch?
Pay: At first and, truthfully, sometimes after years of work, you’ll make a paycheck that most Wal-Mart greeters would think is miniscule. After writing full time for years, I’m finally making decent money. And I’ve earned every cent. But then again, most writers don’t write for the money. They write because that’s what they like to do.
But let’s look at the brighter side of being a writer, shall we?
Creativity: You have an outlet for your creative musings that few others have. You can freely let yourself go, “play” with characters and stories that some would think childish and have a legitimate excuse for doing so.
Control: You are in control of your characters and the stories you want to tell. Or at least you are until your book is contracted and you face revisions.
Freedom to Say What You Want: Why do you think there’s so many bloggers today? Why else is Twitter so big? Everyone wants to say what’s on their mind. As a writer, you can say it anyway you want through her work.
Immortality: Your work will live on without you. With the Internet and eBooks thriving, your book will be available even after you aren’t. Sometimes I think that’s a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time.
So? Is writing really for you? Only you can answer that question. But I must confess. I fooled you. Determining if you want to be a writer is fairly easy and has less to do with what I’ve covered here than one simple fact. If you want to be a writer, you’ll write. No amount of deterrents or roadblocks will stop you. Writing is who you are more than what you do.
So I ask you again. Is writing for you?