I’m always entertained by things my non-writer friends say about what I do. Things like, “It’s so neat that you do your own thing without other people telling how to do it.” Or, “Love the idea of royalties. I’d like to make lots of money while I’m on vacation.” Or, “How neat it would be to work by myself! I wouldn’t have to get along with that bunch in the office.” And here’s a great one. “So you just write the story and send it to an editor who fixes all the problems?”
I thought this article might show them how wrong their ideas are about what a writer’s life is like and maybe someone considering a writing career might find this useful as well.
So what are the reasons Not To Write?
If you can’t take criticism, put down your pen and turn off that computer. From the first word to the last period, your writing should be up for comment and suggestion. If you’re lucky, you have a professional and keen-eyed critique group that will help you make your manuscript the best it can be before you put it up for sale. And if you do make a sale and your book is published, your readers may or may not be delighted with what you’ve written. Reviews can be great and they can be terrible.
If you think you’re going to make lots of money fast, think again. Sure there are some writers who hit the top and stay there, but the majority do not. Many don’t sell books at all. Some sell a few. Some do manage to create a steady income. It’s a hard game and you have to be prepared for not seeing a lot of return for your time and energy invested.
If you can’t get along with others, you’re in for some hard times as a writer. There will be deadlines to meet. If you don’t meet them, you inconvenience others. There will be people who want your help and support with their writing. If you can’t do that, then don’t expect others to help and support your writing. Then there will be the public, the people who read your books. If you you can’t interact with them, so that they enjoy meeting you, do you think they’ll look for your next book? Quite possibly not.
If you don’t want to spend the time editing and re-writing, then take up tennis or go shopping. A good book isn’t written the first time through. If anyone says they can do a first draft that’s perfect, I want to see it.
Can you think of other reasons people shouldn’t write books?
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