So here you are, thinking about writing.
Maybe you’ve done more than think about it. Maybe you’ve already drafted a novel, published a few articles, or written a couple of dozen novellas. Maybe you’ve crafted a heart-felt letter to Dear Abby, or possibly an emotional Dear John email, or perhaps one fine note to your kid’s second grade teacher.
Or maybe not.
Maybe you’re not so certain you can do it. Perhaps you’ve been told it’s a silly idea. Nothing to come of it. Nice hobby, perhaps, but let’s get real, you can’t make a decent living writing. Can you?
While the notion that writers cannot make a living writing is old-school, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe you just want to write. You don’t care about a career. You like to string words together into pretty sentences. You like going to writer meetings and rubbing elbows with other writers.
Perhaps a writing career would get in the way of the rest of your life.
Or the rest of your life might get in the way of your writing career.
Been there. Done that. Both ways. Then again, maybe you do want a writing career. Maybe your goal is to support yourself with your writing. It can happen. Right? Sure, it can. There are ways. But the thing is—whatever Your Write Path, remember it’s yours alone. Yours.
You can choose to write only for yourself, or you can choose to write for a paycheck. You can write to the market, or you can write the book of your heart. You can write to entertain your great Aunt Sally, and that’s cool too. And if you are happy, and you do what you want to do, then life is good. Truly, it is. Don’t get stuck in the ruts of what other writers say you must do, or what you must achieve, to be successful.
Only you can define success for yourself. No ruts allowed here.
Writing is not a competition.
- Don’t compete with other writers.
- Don’t compare yourself with other writers, either. This is the kiss of death.
- Compete only with your own best self. Strive to get better every day.
- Know what you want. Identify your strengths to help you get there.
- Identify any barriers prohibiting your success. How will you overcome?
- Educate yourself about how to get what you want.
- Writing is not a race.Take small steps every day.
- Create time and space to learn every day.
- Plan and act.
- Work hard and persevere.
Remember, there are no overnight successes. Whatever Your Write Path turns out to be, you’ll find it. Or (like a cat) it will find you.
Excerpted from the upcoming non-fiction book, Discover Your Write Path to Publishing Success, Chapter One, by Maddie James.
Coming Fall, 2023.