What it Takes to be a Writer

It’s been a while since I’ve written about writing as a job but since I’ve gotten a few questions in this last week about my writing and dedicating more time to it, I thought it a good topic to revisit. Here is my take on writing and what I believe it would take to be successful – just my opinion based on the small glimpse I’ve had of the writing world.

Writing is a job. Don’t get me wrong, it is also an art and a passion and a business for many of us. But as I found myself explaining this to a co-worker, I realized that they didn’t “get it.” They thought of writing as a hobby or fun activity, but never as a real job that could actually fit within the terms of our “working world.” This is what I described…

You wake up, you write, you need to structure your day to be productive—at least to a longer term degree. This is the easy part. The part that many don’t think about are your emails and letters to agents, publishers and editors (the good old query email/letter/form). Think a cover letter or a somewhat resume summary AND just like any other profession, you want to be impressive. You want to have a website that is up and running and frequently updated. You want to be part of a local writer’s chapter, perhaps involved in the world of writing/books in some way or if for nonfiction, come from a background that adds weight to what you are writing (e.g you researched the field or are involved in the field somehow). Having previous works that have done successfully is also very helpful. It’s important to demonstrate how you stand out from all the other submission they receive. Lastly but not least, we live in a technology driven world with social networks coming out by the minute! You need to have a presence, perhaps even an audience and/or brand.

So what is my reason for bringing this up? I definitely am not trying to scare would be writers out there but I do feel it is important to create an awareness to what writing professionally entails. That being said, if you love it, all of this is worth it. It just may take a bit more planning than expected.

Happy writing this week and good luck to those of you who are about to take the plunge into the world of writers. As an avid reader and writer (when I have a chance!) I’m always looking for new authors and a great book.

 

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