Writers Are Worth It

Writer confidence comes with experience. Even so, many of us — me, included — let things get the best of us and we lose confidence. “Oh, I’ve been lucky to make it this far.” Or we get scared and fear someone will open the curtain and discover no wizard back there.

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The writing profession is a tricky one. We don’t learn how to cut, repair and sew bodies in grade school. We do learn how to read and write. We don’t learn the law inside out so we can quote cases to defend our client in grade school. We do essays and theses. (I did one on James Thurber.) It’s easy for us to fall in the trap thinking, “What makes me a writer when everyone has to write papers in school?”
What makes you a worthy writer?
You treat it like a business. Guess what? Writers are in a business. Grade school doesn’t require you to take finance or learn people management and marketing skills. The closest required class is economics, which runs for only one semester with government taking up the other semester. (This is a Texas education requirement that was around when I was in high school and continues today.) Much of what I know to run my business didn’t come from grade school. Some of my management and people skills comes from college and graduate school. I also picked up some from past jobs and reading.
Treating writing like a business involves marketing, planning, accounting, management. I don’t simply write article after article, post after post, tweet after tweet. I also do problem solving, project management, research and content strategy.
You don’t do the mill thing. Many writers write for pennies and keep doing it even after producing a bunch of lousy articles filled with keywords and little substance. Confessions of an Ex-mill Writer is a must read. It shows how one person got her start by writing for a mill and it didn’t help her writing career. She had to cut it off and start over. Mills are not a stepping stone to a writing career.
You don’t make “no time” excuses. Many say they want to write and never do it. Many folks say they don’t have time to do that novel, memoir or short story. That excuse is no different from the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse. Believe me, I’m busy that I gave up some activities because I needed to make time for exercise. So writers who have done it and got paid for it — you’re ahead of the majority!
I started my writing business on the side to my corporate job. With gentle nurturing and without aggressive marketing, the writing business grew. Early on, I had no plans to make it a full-time career. I fell in love with the work and pushed harder in the couple of years before I retired from the corporate world for the writing business.
Successful people occasionally question their worth no matter how long they’ve worked at their careers. That’s being human. That’s our overstimulated or under simulated brain taking over. Just don’t let it stop you from moving forward. (At least, not for too long.)
What do you do to show you’re a worthy writer?
Lori Widmer’s post on Writers Worth Week inspired this post.

3 thoughts on “Writers Are Worth It”

  1. Very well put. 🙂
    Yes, writing is a business. Self-managed business with all the aspects and factors included.
    Unfortunately, for them, many authors still keep the mentality of the book-baby and they do not want to even consider the notion of the book-product, which is what actually a book is.
    Thank you for the interesting post 🙂

    Reply

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