Why being a writer is hard
Posted: Jan 25, 2020
Being a writer is hard.
It’s important we get that out of the way immediately. False illusions leave no benefit behind.
Too many writers start their online adventure with delusions of grandeur, believing they will get discovered overnight, secure a strong stable of steady clients or an enormous audience hanging on their every word, even though they’ve not taken the time to build one. Then, a month into their new profession, they're scratching their heads wondering where all the readers or clients are?
The good news is, building your online identity does get easier.
What starts hard, is soon simple. Tools that are difficult to use and concepts that seem difficult to master (such as becoming and SEO expert) become as easy as learning your ABCs. Connections that seemed hard to make at first, become as simple as pressing send.
Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, you will go from having few opportunities, constant struggle, and a crushing schedule, to turning down lucrative offers on a daily basis.
But you must build the road brick by brick, then walk it step-by-step. Even if you are fortunate as I was, to have friends and colleagues to help pour the concrete and walk beside you, you will be there for every moment of labor and difficult step forward.
Yet, it’s all worth it, even the struggle. Better than the eventual success is the constant reward of self-discovery. There’s no better way to know yourself than through the words you lay on the page. You could spend years on a psychiatrist’s sofa, but it would cost you thousands of dollars and you wouldn’t know yourself nearly as well as you will when tapping into the human emotions that drive buyer behavior, or set your hero on a journey and put words into the mouths of characters you’ve created.
Sitting at your desk, then picking up the pen, or letting your fingers fly across the keyboard will teach you infinity about who you are. Pay attention, and it is immeasurably satisfying; more so for me than the many premiums I’ve earned in my short success as a writer. Being a writer has helped me grow, not just as a writer, but as a person, husband, parent, friend, and partner to any team I’m lucky enough to be part of. Being a writer is awesome without measure, especially if you’re smart enough to know what being a writer isn’t.
If you’ve bought into any of the pixie dust being sold online that shows an entrepreneur kicking it with his laptop on sandy beaches, exchanging his golden thoughts for money, wrapped in serenity and swallowed by overnight success — I’m sorry, that writer isn’t real.
The writers I know making it big are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met in any profession.
I’m the first to say that if you make it, it’ll be worth every minute of misery. Being a successful writer can make you happier than you ever imagined. But I’ll also be the first to tell you the truth. At times, carving a living from copy is like climbing a chalkboard Everest with a handful of nails.