So you want to be a writer, huh? Well, kudos to you. No, seriously. Good for you. But I want to be frank and lay it all out on the table so you know exactly what you're getting yourself into, because this lofty goal of yours is going to be HARD. It is.
First and foremost, everyone and their dog wants to be writers too. Don't believe me, just pop on to twitter and search author or writer and KAPOW...you'll be given a good dose of reality. So, you'll be surrounded by literally KABILLIONS (okay, not literally, but you get the drift) of other people like you wanting the same thing as you do. Some of those people will will go on to publish great books, make trillions of dollars, and become famous--a very small number to be certain. And then there will be a WHOLE bunch of others that will write and hope someone, anyone, will read their work. They struggle to be noticed among the literally KABILLIONS of books being published every year (okay, not literally, but you get the drift). There's a wide division between these two groups of writers and most likely you'll fall among the last group mentioned. Right dab in the middle of it, probably.
"Why Angela, Thank you for crushing my dreams, you jerk!"
Believe me, I understand your anger directed in my direction. I get it. But it doesn't change the truth of the matter. WRITING IS HARD AND YOU WILL STRUGGLE. That is a given. If you don't prepare yourself for that possibility, then GET OUT NOW while you can. Just give up. Walk away and save yourself the trouble of writing a manuscript for years, going through the pains of editing and critiques, all the rejections that will come your way (oh, they will come), negative reviews of your published work, and in the end...scrambling to be noticed among all the new books hitting the virtual shelves every day. Go on, just walk away...no one will judge you for quitting...bye, bye.
Wait...you're still here? Good for you, you little masochist. Hanging in there despite everything I tossed at you. With all of the above to look forward to, why is it that writers/authors keep plugging along, writing story after story? Because most dedicated writers don't know HOW to quit. It's not even a possibility. They don't write for fame or for fortune (if that's why you're doing it, then here's your second chance to get out now), they write because they HAVE to. The little voices force them to write the stories floating around in their heads. They couldn't imagine doing anything else. Oh, of course finding readers to read and enjoy our work is wonderful, getting rave reviews to validate our writing is awesome, and perhaps earning a bit of $$$ would be nice (most likely, the money aspect will look more like this ¢ and NOT like this $), but none of that should matter anyway. If you can't live without those things, if you need validation, praise and a boat load of cash, then once more, I implore you to quit.
You're asking for a lot of trouble, still reading on like you're doing. The reason I'm even writing this blog is that I can't tell you HOW many times I've heard from newly published authors who are upset because they receive negative feedback (Oh, authors can get CRA-ZY) or how angry they are that various marketing plans don't work to get them noticed overnight (HELLO...welcome to the real world). They're upset for putting in HOURS and HOURS (not to mention money out of their own pockets) to publish their manuscript only to have it appear as a failure. Just so you know, NO ONE who writes and finishes a novel is a failure. No one. Many people quit before they finish, so to get even that far is awesome.
If you feel as though you can't live without putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard...If you're willing to let everything else fall where it may and allow the readers, the praise, and the money to trickle in on its own time and in its own way...if you're willing to stick it out for the years it may take...Then you just might be ready for this after all :) Hang in there and write. Write because you not only want to, but because like air, you can't live without it. If that's why you write, then everything else is simply the frosting on a delicious piece of cake.
Why do you write? What keeps you typing along? Why do you want to be a writer? When did you know? I'd love to hear from you.