Ask yourselves this; what do you want to write about. If you’re literary goal is fiction, can you exist on next to nothing in the way of money and virtually become a recluse, deliberately shutting yourself off from everything you know to achieve your goal. If you still answered yes then read on…
Since taking up the noble craft seriously back in 2003, I have begun to realize that to write you have to be a touch crazy, or perhaps that should read ‘touched’. What other calling do you know of which mentally rips your very soul to shreds – some form of martyrdom perhaps?
At the very least, you need to be what most people would describe as a ‘character’, or an ‘eccentric’. Above all, you must have an obsessive compulsion to write.
We’re not talking about your average journalistic hack here that gets sent on an assignment to write five hundred words on the local flower show; or, if he/she is considered worthy by the managing editor of the rag they write for, gets sent out to dig up dirt on a politician or a so-called celebrity. No. We’re talking about someone who loves the written word and fictitious stories, be they fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, YA, humour in any genre, spy thrillers, murder, historically accurate tales, or even those god awful Mills & Boon style formulaic love stories, read by women across the world. In fact we’re talking about any genre you care to name.
We go through hell on a handcart to bring our stories to you the reader, believe me I know; I suffered my second breakdown over my first novel. We sacrifice what passes for a ‘normal’ existence for our necessarily solitary one. Some of us write in the morning, some in the afternoon. Some even write from dawn to dusk.
A few well know authors and most celebrities employ ‘ghost writers’ to do the hard stuff – writing, while they concentrate on dictating into a recording device of some sort. Perhaps you may like to consider being a ghost writer. Don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. At least while you’re writing someone else’s story, and being paid for it, you’re free to work on your own magnum opus. You may even consider writing some short stories for publication. There are a lot of competitions looking for new writers. Why not start up your own blog?
While one or two writers make millions in royalties, most do not. So unless you are passionate about writing, stick with your day job.
One last thing, on behalf of all we serious writers, please, please continue to read the product of all our work, and if you can, please give us feedback on our web pages and blogs. Without feedback from you the reader, how can we improve on our work?
I thank you for taking the time to read this. Please throw a coin in my hat as you pass me by.