Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the day you start calling yourself a writer.

The first bit of advice I bring you today may very well be the most important advice you ever receive. Before you read any further, get out your notebook and write a letter to yourself. Ask yourself why you want to be a writer. Try this for a few minutes and then come back and we will chat.

Ah, so I see you've come back. Good! That is a start. So, how easy was it to write your letter? Did you stare at the empty page for a few astounding moments? Did the words flow freely from your mind onto the paper? Is your paper still blank?

Regardless, you now have it set in your mind why you want to be a writer. Or maybe just the opposite--did you discover along the way that writing isn’t for you? If so, that’s OK to, but today is the day. Today is the day you must decide if this is the road that will make you the happiest in life.

Writing is not going to be your normal 9-5 job that makes you wake in the morning with dread every day, which can be brushed off at the end of your dedicated eight hours, not if you’re a good writer anyway. Writing will consume much of your life, as it should! This should be a warm welcome to those of you who are still serious about being a writer. Every meal you take, every person you encounter, every breath of fresh morning air will be your pallet of inspiration.

Still sound like fun? To me and many others, yes, this is a blessing! But to some, they may cringe at the thought of having such a dedicated line of work.

Today is the day you must decide. If you decide this is the path you were meant to take then do it! Be consumed by it! If you do not really love to write and find it as mundane and backbreaking work, maybe you should reconsider your career. And that’s OK. Rejection letters, late nights, and blank, frustrating minds are all part of the writing game.

I probably will not be the first or last to tell you that it is not easy being a writer, but if this passion of yours has yet to dwindle away, you will be rewarded in a way you never thought possible. To see your story told, your first acceptance letter, the finished manuscript you poured sweat and tears into is a feeling unlike any other you will have ever experienced. But it will not have come easy. Today is the day you must decide how much it is worth to you. Today is the day you start calling yourself a writer.

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