This is today’s question: what makes you a writer? Really. Think about it for a minute. Why do you write? No, think about it for a while.
I think it’s important to understand your motivation. Is it money? Bragging rights? Enjoyment? Let’s talk about that (as Rhett and Link would say).
Each day we make our way through work, chores, and obligations for various reasons. One of those reasons being money. There ain’t no rest for the wicked. We’ve all got to eat and pay our bills. I get that. But to call yourself a writer just so you can make a buck won’t work.
I feel like when we do things out of obligation two things happen. One – we don’t do our best work and that bothers us. Two – it overwhelms you and you become the wicked witch of the west. Writing you simply cannot do for money.
Then we all have those friends who want to tell the big tale. They need all of the attention on them. Their fish was bigger, their gater was longer, they really did get abducted by aliens! And for all it’s worth they do have freedom of speech to spin that wonderfully imaginative story.
When you are writing you can’t do it to say you’ve done it. Been there, done that, bought every t-shirt! While it is cool to have finally (after a TON of hard work) gotten your work published, that can’t be your goal either.
To be a writer you must do it for you. For your enjoyment.
The writer’s brain is designed a bit differently than others. Writers observe the world while their mind ad libs. You automatically place conversations, song lyrics, or illustrations in some unique scenario. A writer’s mind may be ADD or seem to have multiple personalities, but that’s what makes it work.
While you may sell many copies or may finish and have bragging rights, at the end of the day do you enjoy what you do? Writing takes work, and loads of it. But if you take the time to put some effort into it, along with some discipline, you really can have all three.
Ultimately don’t forget how hard you have to, or had to, work to get published and/or noticed. And remember trends change. Start your own!