Writing is tough work. No, it’s not laying bricks or breaking broncs, but in its own way, writing is even harder as a profession. At least mentally. There are a lot distractions. There are the fears every writer seems to have, fears of success, or turning out something good, of not succeeding. Writing can be emotionally draining, and it takes time to write and to think of what to write and how to write and a million other things.
Writing also has its own rewards, often emotional. Beyond that, writing can also have monetary rewards, if you are one of the lucky few who can making a living at this gig.
Breaking into writing as a full-time job is no easy task. It generally takes time to become a decent enough writer that people will pay you for your skills and material. How long? It’s different for each person. But even if it takes four or five years, is that really too much to ask? To earn a bachelor’s degree in college can take just as long, and a master’s degree can take even longer. So why shouldn’t it take a while to become a quality, skilled writer? It should. And it does.
A lot of people think they can be a professional writer. It’s easy. You just sit down and write. Right? Oh, how little they know.
One of the most important factors for becoming a professional writer is perseverance. Yes, you need to know your basic tools such as grammar and spelling, etc. But you also need to be able to push ahead no matter what the odds. A lot of potential pro writers never make it because they give up too soon. Sometimes they give up just on the verge of making it. Sometimes they give up early on once they see how much work writing truly entails.
To succeed, you have to be able to hang tough during the bad times, when you can’t sell any of your stories or articles and when nothing you’re writing seems to be any good. There are good days and bad days, of course, but it can be worth it if you can press ahead through those bad days.
Most importantly, you have to be truthful with yourself. Is your writing any good? If not, why not? What can you do to improve your writing? Can you improve your writing? I’m here to tell you that yes, you can improve your writing, though it may take time and study and reading and tons of writing. Even the greatest of writers weren’t great when they first began writing. And remember that all pro writers polish, edit and rewrite their own work before sending it off to an editor or publisher.
So, you can succeed as a professional writer. It just takes will.
Never give up!
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