We know writing is often a lonely, frustrating life: there’s never enough time and never enough rewards. So why do we do it? Why should anyone embrace the writing life?
1. You love words and what they mean and how you can manipulate and control them to make something wonderful and new that thrills you to the core. You like the sound of a well crafted sentence, the beauty in a line of poetry or of a well written song, something that resonates beyond the page, beyond this moment in time.
2. You love reading and you know that good writing comes from reading good stuff; be it new, old and ancient, fiction, non-ficiton, in English or in translation from any other language. Foreign writers often have a far more interesting way of seeing the world and of expressing their views.
3. You have something to say – that’s worth other people hearing, no matter how small your audience, no matter what form you take. These days you can find your audience anywhere; a small blog, your twitter account, e-publish on your own or through a profit share company like Andrews UK. And still there is the traditional way of print journalism (a dying breed) and books (also in die back): so many platforms to have your say.
4. You’re not lazy and you know you have to hone your skills and refine your work. You know that it can take years to create the best work and longer still to get it published. You enrol for courses, be they full time degree courses, or short courses offered on-line and through local writers’ groups. You ask for feedback from those you trust – but are wary of some of the on-line groups who are there not to help you but for their own self-agrandisment. You know writing is one of those arts that is always changing and developing and that’s what you’re like too – always looking for the better word, the better realised character, dialogue that you can hear, settings you can see and feel.
5. Writing is what you’ve always been good at: it is your special skill, the thing you do better than anyone you went to school with or have ever known. It’s what you do just for you, without thought of publication, without thinking it seems. Making notes, writing snippets are part of your everyday life. You’ve always got an idea for a story going, brewing, waiting for the right time.
6. You can’t not write. Like 5 – it’s part of you, part of how you see yourself, even if you tell no-one else in the world. Writing is your passion, your reason for being, it is the core of you and you have to do it. It’s like breathing for you, how can you not be thinking, imagining, creating during your day? It is a way of life: it is your way of life. Writing makes you happy – when you are in the middle of your story you don’t want anything else and woe-be-tide anyone who disturbs you then!
7. You are an optimistic, hopeful person and you know – no you believe in all your heart – that you will make it through to the big time. You will have your work published in the public arena and be recognised and more importantly, be able to earn your living from what you love doing, just like JK, and Amanda Hocking the publishing sensation of the e-zone.
But, don’t give up the day job! Perhaps though, find a day job that allows you to indulge some of your passion, so you can actually imagine or create or write all day long…