BBBurke suggested that I write something uplifting for aspiring writers,
since there's always so much out there about what we're doing wrong and
how to do it better. So. Here's that :)
The Things Aspiring Writers Do Right
1.) We understand that we want to do something seriously, and we sit
down and dedicate ourselves to it. We write, and write, and write. As
we write, we improve. Not everyone can do that. You can't just
automatically be good at something, and a lot of people give up when
they realize turning their "hobby" into a profession is going to be
hard. For all the people who don't give up: you are fabulous. And you're
ahead of the curve. Picture this visual: there are 100 people who say
they want to write a book someday. Of those 100 people, maybe 50 will
ever put a word to paper. Of those 50, maybe 25 will keep putting words
down until the have a book. Of those, maybe 12 will edit, rewrite, and
improve that book before giving up. Maybe 6 of those decide to send that
book out into the world, and maybe 3 of those will try the whole thing
again if they're shot down. And maybe, just maybe, you're that one
person who will keep at it again, again, and again until you're the one
that succeeds. If you're that person, you're at the head of your
2.) We dooooon't stop belieeeeving and we hang on to that
feeeEEEEEeeeEEeeelliiiinnngggg ooooooh sorry. Couldn't resist. But
seriously, aspiring writers are often some of the most optimistic, go
get 'em, determined people I've ever met. Even when we don't believe in
ourselves, we believe in each other. And that's wonderful.
3.) We support one another. I don't know about all of the writing
communities, but I know in the YA and kidlit community, we are really
big on bolstering each other up and being shoulders to cry on. I mean,
this attitude can become a problem if we don't balance it with an equal
dose of reality and honest critique, but even so, it's a pretty awesome
community to be a part of most of the time. Being able to find real joy
in the success of your friends is an incredible thing.
4.) We're willing to have fun and embrace the freedom of the
aspiring. Being a real live professional author seems like a shiny star
of a life, but there are drawbacks. Being at the mercy of readers or the
publishing industry. Deadlines. Requests for something you don't
necessarily want to write. Rejections of things you love. Contracts.
Pressure to perform. As aspiring authors, we may be rolling around in a
pit of obscurity, but at least we're free to take a chance on any
project that we like. If it gets rejected, it sucks, but it's not like
we have to scramble to whip up something brand new in three weeks
because we have a deadline. We get to keep trying at our leisure until
we find the thing that clicks.
5.) We are willing to learn. At least, those of us that are flexible
and open to becoming the best we can be are willing to learn. We don't
assume greatness. We know we're flawed, we know we're uncut diamonds.
And we're okay with honing ourselves until we sparkle enough to become
What else do you think aspiring writers are good at?