Want to know how writing works?
You write; you’re rejected. You write some more and are rejected some more. And then, one day…
You find an editor who likes what you’ve done and he or she pays you for it.
Don’t be discouraged by that $20 check! You’re a professional writer!
Seriously, unless you’re a very lucky person, writing isn’t an easy business. As you may know, I no longer do it exclusively for magazines and I no longer write books only. Why? Because it’s hard to make writing pay the bills. I have a job where I write every single day, and am paid quite nicely. I love what I do so I don’t really miss writing for magazines, but I do miss writing books and the cool thing is that I’m paid to write books for my job, too. Everything works out for me.
But I wrote for like 15 years doing nothing but writing for publishers. I had magazine jobs that paid me very well. I had nice book advances and some crappy work-for-hire deals, which sucked. And I was an editor for a while. But the well-paying magazine jobs… few and far between, and the high advance books? Once the advance is gone, it takes a very long time to see any royalties. In fact, I just received royalties last year from a book that I finished in 2002. Amazing, isn’t it?
So, if you want to be a writer, I wish you well. I hope that you write a novel or nonfiction book that is picked up immediately and that you’re advanced six figures right off the bat. But I have to tell you that it doesn’t often work that way, no matter how good you are.
Ever hear the old saw, “You’re in the right place at the right time”? It’s kind of like that. You have to be in the right place at the right time. And the best way to get there is by practicing.
You need to learn how to write properly.
You need to learn the business of writing.
You have to have skin like a rhinoceros. If you don’t, you’ll never make it in the writing biz.
And get ready… Here’s the most important part… YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP! Ever.
No negativity, no rejections, no people who tell you that you’ll never do it can sway you. Develop a “Can Do” attitude and just keep moving forward. You will succeed, if you continue to grow and work at writing. It will happen.