Last Friday I wrote a blog post about making the decision to go to grad school for writing. I realize now I probably should have preceded it with a post one making the decision to become a writer in the first place, because believe me, you have to make the decision to become a writer.
Writing is no easy task and many people give up the dream of finishing a novel or getting published because it seems impossible. Words are hard, let’s acknowledge that.
So what is a writer exactly? How do you classify someone as a writer? The answer is simple. If you write then you’re a writer. Yes, it’s true. Anyone can be a writer, but not everyone can stay a writer. Because you see, writing is not a one time thing. Writing is wrapped up into the essence of who you are. A true writer can not stray from writing for long. The buildup of words in a writer’s chest is too much to keep inside. They must release them, good or bad.
But how do you decide whether the writing profession is for you? There are plenty of talented writers out there who choose another path. How do you know this is the right one for you?
If you’ve tried to leave it but kept coming back.
Sign #1. You tried not to write. You willed yourself not to do it. But reading just wasn’t enough for you. You couldn’t bear to just be in someone else’s world. You had to create your own.
If you know you’re in it for the long haul.
There is no such thing as instant success in the writing world. It is a long and arduous path. You will be exhausted, you will feel disappointed, you will want to quit. But your vision is long-term and you can handle the waiting game.
If you’ve looked writer’s block in the eye and made it your b****.
Yup, I went there. Writer’s block can take you down and keep you down. You have to choose not to let it win. You have to fight for every word you write. If you can do that, you’re a writer.
If you’re willing to make sacrifices.
Writers make all kinds of sacrifices, whether it’s their social life, having a secure job, income, etc. You don’t have to quit your day job to become a writer (definitely pay your bills, people), but you may have to cancel your evening plans in order to stay true to your scheduled writing time. Or maybe instead of that lavish vacation you’ve been wanting, you should look up writing conferences instead. Writers make sacrifices, but they know it will be worth it.
Writers are magicians. And like any good magician, a writer must practice their craft. This profession is not for the faint of heart. Do you think you can do it? (I think so.)
Follow me @wethewriters on Instagram and @liz_tampa on Twitter.