Passion for Writing
November 24, 2007
"I want to be an author. I just don't have the time to write."
If you don't write, you're not a writer. If you're not a writer, you'll never be an author (unless you pay a ghostwriter to do the work for you and let you slap your name on the cover).
If you don't have time to write, then you don't really have a passion for writing. People who are passionate about writing fit writing into their day. Some writers schedule it in. Other writers just do it whenever they have a free moment (e.g. on the bus or train, in waiting rooms, while watching television or listening to the radio, etc.). People who are passionate writers write because they love to write, not because it's a chore.
(I write all the time. I get depressed if I don't write. If I learn something new, I write it down. If I have an idea, I write it down. When something interesting happens to me, I want to write it in my journal. I even love writing shopping lists and schedules. My world exists in words written on a page. I can honestly say that I'm a writer.)
"I get bored with writing."
If you you think you love writing, but you get bored when you write, you're writing the wrong thing. Try switching to non-fiction, children's literature, comic books, screenwriting, playwriting, or a new genre. If that doesn't work, switch to painting, computer programming, or music, and come back to writing later.
"I love to write, but I want to be a published author."
Bow down and thank technology. It is now easier than ever to become a published author. Self-publishing is as simple as uploading your book to an on-demand printer, like CafePress.com, Lulu.com, BookSurgePublishing.com, and iUniverse, and you can even create an e-book rather than a hard copy. Some services are free. Some you have to pay for. In either case, you usually end up having a greater control of the finished product. This also means that if you don't know what you're doing, you could screw things up, and if you want people to buy your book, you'll need to do the marketing yourself.
You can still submit your manuscript to publishers, producers, and agents, but be prepared for rejection. You don't have to pay them for their services, but they will take a percentage of the sales. They also tend to take more control of your work because, unlike in self-publishing, they are the ones paying for those printing costs and will lose money if your book doesn't sell. They also handle the marketing, so you can be free to write your next masterpiece instead of worrying about all of the behind-the-scenes work involved in public relations. Your book is more likely to hit the best sellers lists if it's published by the publishing house.
Don't Sacrifice Reality for the Fantasy
Writing is first a hobby you love and then a business. If you are really passionate about writing, you will do it completely for free, without recognition or awards, and even without a single person ever seeing your work. (Note, this doesn't mean that you don't want to have fame and fortune. It just means that you'll write even if you don't have them.) If you are ready to turn your hobby into a business, start slowly, inch your way in, don't quit your day job, and keep going even if you don't land a big deal (or even a small deal). Write because you love to write, because you need to write, not just for a paycheck.