In my last blog entry, I talked about finding your own unique writing style. A style that works for you regardless of what you think writing should look like. I am realizing that people begin to second guess their writing techniques because writing hasn’t brought the rewards they thought it would. For example, a talented young writer recently said that she is looking forward to graduating from college and beginning work on her first novel. She wants a brownstone in Boston. How lovely. So do I. I have three books published and I am nowhere close.
What happens when life does not cooperate? What happens if you have small children who refuse to leave you alone? What happens if you are working two jobs and your only down time is on a train? What happens if you get published but don’t make enough money to write full-time? What if you can’t afford a trailer let alone a brownstone? That’s when you decide if you’re a writer or you’re just in love with the idea of being a writer.
Let’s examine other types of craft activities. If I crochet, I can be a novice or become advanced at it. I can try different patterns, make mistakes, rip it out and try again. The same is true of crafters of pottery or jewelry. Crafters decide the extent to which they want to take their craft. If I teach writing, am I less of a writer than a best-selling novelist? If I choose to write cozy mysteries, am I less of a writer than someone who writes books with sexually explicit scenes? Is a person who knits amazing sweaters any less of a knitter than Vanna White?
Writers are those who write. We pursue it because we enjoy it. There is always more to learn and more to try. The profession of writing has changed over the years. Nowadays, writers are also their own marketing and PR departments. Like it or not, things are different for writers than they were ten years ago. Self-publishing has changed the publishing industry. There are fewer big name bookstores than there were but more independent bookstores. There are Facebook sites for writers and readers of every genre imaginable. Amazon and Goodreads have also made an impact.
While I originally started writing because I love telling a good story, I continue it for a myriad of reasons. One reason is the wonderful friends I have made with other authors and reviewers. Cozy Cat Press authors seem to feel that we are all in this together and attempt to support each other. I have come to know and treasure a number of reviewers. I like them as people. I appreciate that they like my writing but I enjoy seeing their posts because we share a number of other interests as well. Writing opened up a whole other world for me. It expanded my horizons in ways I never thought possible.
I mentioned before that I sincerely doubt I would have been a writer back in the days of the typewriter. It took too much effort to fix every little mistake and I make lots of mistakes. I am grateful for the invention of the laptop. In addition, the internet gives me a support system I wouldn’t have had at another time. It is support I need as I learn and grow in this field.
So, you may not get your brownstone or a movie made from one of your books. You may continue to try and write as the train zips along or during children’s nap times. Don’t quit. There is more to writing than just a paycheck. There is a whole world of other writers out there. Take the time to look for them and get to know them. It will change your life for the better. I promise!