Monday, March 06, 2006

"In the Beginning You Will Be a Starving Artist"

Here's the next in my series of posts on Truths and Myths about writing. Each time I post, I'll start with a truth or myth about the writing life, the publishing industry, etc. Hopefully you'll enjoy some of these secrets, tips and tricks.

So #5 is "In the beginning, you will be a starving artist." What do you think? Is that a truth or a myth?

Yeah, unfortunaely, it's true. I wish it weren't. I wish I could say that most of us write our first work and it's a New York Times Bestseller, we get on Oprah and we're "all the buzz."

But the truth is, like most good things in life, the writing life doesn't come easy. It takes time to develop your craft. It takes time to be a really good writer. It takes time to find your niche. Most writers don't make much of anything for the first couple years they write. But if you hit it hard and keep writing and keep submitting your work, and keep improving what you write and keep learning, and pursue good leads, you will be published. And you will find your niche.

Will you become rich? Maybe. Maybe not. Most successful full-time writers "make a living," meaning they make a decent living, enough to stay home and enjoy life. That's just the truth.

But I don't find that discouraging. I find it encouraging. It means that if I work hard at it, it's likely I'll be able to work at home full-time, be with my family, wake when I want and never wear a watch. And if that's what you want, you can do it too. But it takes diligence.

So will you be a starving artist? Most likely. But hopefully not for long.

Until next time--enjoy writing!


Christopher Maselli

1 comment:

T. Suzanne Eller said...

One day in youth the pastor asked, "does anyone know a millionaire?". I nearly fell out of my chair when half of the teens looked at me. : )

Thanks for sharing the reality of the writing world,