Few people (besides writers themselves) understand what it’s like to be a writer. I’m not trying to say that we think we’re better than other people or that it’s “too difficult” for anyone else to grasp, I just think that most of the time it’s hard to explain what we actually do. It’s also hard to deal with the stigma of being a writer and people thinking that it’s because you’re too lazy to do anything else.
As you’re growing up, people usually encourage you to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy. The older you get, however, the less people say this to you. Once you hit your college years, your dreams make much less more sense and you’re supposed to be practical. Once you leave your college years, you’re supposed to have your life all figured out. I’m twenty-four and I still have absolutely nothing figured out. The only thing that I know for sure is that I always have and always will want to be a writer. The problem with this is that no one thinks it’s practical to be a writer. No one thinks anything is practical unless you’re guaranteed to make a steady income or if all your hard work will pay off.
If you aren’t a writer (writers are all too familiar with this scenario) think about what it must be like to devote years of work to something you’re not sure will pay off. This is what it’s like to be a writer. You’re not certain your book will be published and when it is published, you’re not sure it’ll make ANY money. Even if you worked for the last FIVE years perfecting it, going over every inch of your manuscript, staying up late, spending nights at home while your friends and family have fun…well, that still won’t ensure any success. It’s hard to handle, especially if everything thinks you aren’t really doing anything.
That’s the hardest part to deal with. When people think you’re lazy and you need something real that will pay off. When people ask you how much money you’ll make IF you get published. When people ask you when your “hobby” will be able to support you.
Don’t get me wrong. I love every minute I spend writing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t think most writers would because they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t love it. I’m extremely grateful I even have the opportunity and time to write my own books. I’m glad I have the support of my family and friends. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything more.