The title of this post comes from a recent blog entry titled The Business Rusch: Fighting Uphill by the author Kristine Kathryn Rusch on her site. In it, she puts into succinct and poignant words what I, and I think most writers go through in aspiring to follow their dream of making a living as a writer. We go through a terrible battle of self-doubt, and others-doubt, hammered into us from most people we encounter from a young age, and continuing for most of our lives. That battle stems from the fear-lie that we can’t make it in our chosen career.
If writing is such a difficult field to succeed in, then why do it? That is one of the questions I’ve been faced with from others, and even from myself, due to listening to some of the doubts that were presented to me when I was younger.
I like what Stephen King says about writing. (I’ll paraphrase until I find the exact quote.) On being a writer: what made you think I had a choice?
I think it’s that way for those of us who have a true desire and impulse to write. I know for myself, that if I don’t write, I just don’t feel right (and mostly I have a great time doing it; it’s fun, liberating and transcendent – while at the same time being a lot of hard work, is often misunderstood and discouraged). Writing is something I had to do; that I choose to do because the Muse chose me, and there was really no other way. It being a hard struggle to make a living as a writer was not in my mind when I was young and knew writing was what I had a natural God-given talent for, and what I wanted to do. But, when I got older I did have many of the same fears, worries, and concerns that Kristine talks about in her blog post.
Then there are, perhaps, well-meaning myths like: a writer needs a real job to fall back on. I know I listened to that myth and it took me down some strange career twists, turns, and life experiences. But, now I know those “detours” are all true experiences I can draw from to enrich my writing, so I don’t regret them now.
If you want some good insight as to what a writer goes through following their dream these days, give her blog a read. It’s not all bleak though, as these are liberating and exciting times for writers – when we can get over the doubts and fears. The business playing field of publishing has tilted in the writer’s favour, and now there is even more of an opportunity to make a living as a writer. The revolution of e-book reading devices like the Kindle and the ability for the writer to publish directly to readers on a global scale have empowered writers like never before in history.
The Business Rusch: Fighting Uphill: http://kriswrites.com/2011/09/07/the-business-rusch-fighting-uphill/