By Len Lawson
Writing is hard. You first have to find time to write in your busy schedule, and when you do have time, you have to be in the right mood. Otherwise, you procrastinate, and your time is wasted. Once you finally do get to write what you consider to be your best work (if your friends and your family have not discouraged you into quitting by the time your work is complete), you try to get it published somehow whether in magazines, journals, or by some publishing company. This process is where you decide to just quit on your own.
Publishers will tell you that your work does not suit their needs, or it is not a “good fit” for them. They may simply feel that your work lacks merit or just plain stinks. Next because you can’t get a deal with these publishers, you may decide to self-publish. Following making a substantial financial commitment to the work, you must market yourself and your work continually if you have even a glimmer of hope for a return on your investment. Then, you have to decide, Why am I doing all of this? Is it because you want to be the next John Grisham, James Patterson, or Janet Evanovich? Is it for fame or fortune? Is it because someone told you that you’d be a great writer and that people will read and buy your books? Did they tell you it would be easy?
Well, it’s not easy. It’s hard—every bit of it. However, the ones who survive the rejections and the failure do not neglect their craft for a Saturday night movie or a night out partying away their inspiration. They focus on their craft. They improve their weaknesses, and they maximize their strengths. They seek out other successful writers in their genre and ask them for tips. They cheer on their fellow writers when they succeed instead of finding a reason to justify their own failure. Successful writers have counted the costs of their profession. They have embraced the struggle. They have decided that their writing means more than momentary fulfillment in activities that ultimately do not culminate in their success. They live for every word they write. They are passionate, vigilant, and unrelenting.
You were misled if you thought this was going to be easy. If you still want to be a writer, the first bit of advice you need is to endure. Writers accept the difficulty and become addicted to their writing habit. Writing is hard, but those who embrace the challenge may reap not only material rewards but also fulfillment for their lives and a claim to their place as a voice in the world amongst their generation.