Being a writer has always had mixed connotations and reactions. For example, on one side, the writer has a romanticized notion about him - her; on the other side, it is a closed profession, reserved for a select group of people who learnt how to write somewhere most of us only dreamed of going - had we only known such a place existed. In other words, we are just amateurs... Of course, this is just idiotic and ridiculous.
Write only to grow
Three months ago, I discovered an online writing website. I registered and started publishing a little bit of this and that: a couple of old articles, but mostly poems at first. While poems do not sell, strangely people read them intensely and this is how I started building a faithful readership. I edited and published about seventy poems, articles, short stories and the list is growing; for each and everyone of them, I have received at least one good feedback. That was great and still is... I have acquired self-esteem and more confidence in my work. I need readers before cash... philosophical aspect of my personal vision of writing - does not pay the bills though.
Being a writer is very simple, I thought, even before Hubpages; just write now and then, the rest will follow. Who was I kidding? Writing online is hard work, worse... you spend 10% of your time writing a good article, the rest includes SEO and self-promoting your work (to make it short). I am not so fond of that aspect. Yes, I do want to be a paid writer, but I cannot do the work of a marketing team and publicist; nor have I the means to hire people to that effect. What do I do then? I have tried for years though, even tried to learn how to, but I am no good at this. I am a writer and only a writer...
What do I do then? I write, focusing on the quality of my content, caring about the readers I have and hoping for the best. My online writing life experience is rich and I have grown so much thanks to it; however, I did not make a buck.
No, being a writer is anything but simple, it never was. Nowadays, being a writer means that you have to choose what matters most to you: writing or making a living out of it. This is not a choice for all of us, to whom writing is THE thing we 'excel' at. Writing is an art and 'real' art pays for only a few. I love being a writer, I'd love for it to bring money too, but that might take many more years, so I babble about writing and being a writer and all the things I need to do besides being only a writer... thinking like a fish in a fish tank; hoping I'll be read and that for a little while I made some of you feel less alone in their struggle... 'hell' even made you smile a bit.
From writer to author
... doubt but don't give up...
Now, while I was ranting about not being paid, I forgot to mention that in the end it is my choice; I am the only one responsible for my lack of revenue coming from my writing. I take full responsibility for being pigheaded on the matter, and am actually wearing proudly my stubbornness badge.
This being said, I can tell you one more thing that is very important. If you want - like I do - to see your book on a store's bookshelf, you need to write. Follow my rule of the W. R. W. E. W.:
- First: Write a lot,
- Second: Read tons,
- Third: Write even more,
- Fourth: Edit constantly,
- Fifth: Write on and on.
I have begun writing a novel. I had figured out my characters and places, had created a simplified family-tree, you name it. The first idea I had on how to write my story was pure rubbish because I did not get more than one feedback. I explain: I had decided to share what I had written to test my idea and see if it was worth going on that way. I had posted three parts, and only one received a positive comment. I realized that the idea was good but the format WAS NOT. It took some thinking, self-doubting and therefore inner struggles. I was on the verge of giving up entirely on my idea. Then I had an epiphany about how I was writing as opposed to what. So, I started all over again and it worked. I have shared it again and my readers are hooked. The goal is obvious, I would love for my story to be published outside the Internet... in a book, and without having to pay for it... so I write on.
I often wonder about J. K. Rowling and Susanna Clarke. How did they do it without having any feedback? How did they know that what they were writing was good? Yet, they probably did have feed back, just not online.
Last word: it is okay to self-doubt ones writing and edit it and self-doubt again... as long as one does not give up, one will get it right and reach the ultimate goal of becoming an author and therefore largely read. But 'careful what you wish for': feedback can be a biter