Becoming a writer, especially a creative writer, should only be done when you truly love the written word. What makes writing so different from other jobs? Well… you’ll write a hell of a lot of words without getting paid before you might possibly eventually get somewhere. So, you’d better love what you’re doing.
David Eddings said: write one million words, throw them all away and then you can start with the real writing. One million words… That’s fifteen novels (or three Robert Jordan’s). That’s a hell of a lot to write before getting published.
Those who are faithful to that advice know that writing is something you just really have to love. Why else write one million words that may seem absolutely futile?
Learning while writing
Whether you really do write one million words or not, you get the point: you have to write a lot to learn your craft. You have to put in the time and the energy. More so, you have to practice as often as you can. It’s like playing the piano. Your fingers are the tools and you’ll have to keep them warm to deliver your best work.
I’ve learned much of the above recently writing a big epic fantasy story. It was inconsistent, my characters were often flat and I had about three different versions swarming around in my head at the same time.
Yep. I failed. But I learned and I continue to learn. Most important of all: I just love writing. I don’t mind throwing away what I’ve written. I’m enjoying the process.
I think that’s the key. If you love it, you’ll be persistent. You’ll keep going no matter where you end up in your career. Because whether you’ll be the next Stephen King or you’ll just do it as a hobby, you are creating art. That’s something to be proud of.
Love your passion
Fortunately, it seems this opinion is all around. Many writers I’ve met share the same mindset: that writing is a passion that just needs an outlet.
Writing in that sense is like any other art. Musicians, painters and photographers would most likely agree. They sing, paint and shoot away because their heart’s in it. This is how they express themselves.
That’s beautiful, now isn’t it? Loving what you do, just for the sake of it. Never let that passion fade away. You’re doing it for you. If you happen to make a living off of it, great! If not, then remember why you started doing it in the first place: because you simply love it!
Do you love writing? What is it that brought you to writing in the first place?