Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Writing Career--Love it or Hate It

It is never too late—in fiction or in life—to revise. ——Nancy Thayer

We are often tempted to take the path of least resistance in writing and in life. It is after all, the easiest way to go. No hindrances. No problems. But most often it isn’t the best path.

I won’t lie to you. Writing is often a discouraging career choice. Publishers aren’t buying. Agents aren’t reading. Editors don’t have time to sift through the mountainous slush pile on their desk in search of the gem that is your manuscript. Why even bother to submit? The reasons are endless as to why this is not the most sound career path for a sane person who likes to eat and wear clothes to take.

Many writers say they didn’t choose writing; the writing chose them. I’ve been thinking a lot lately of the passage of time, and how I’m not getting any younger, and what happens if I don’t get a contract by the end of the year, or even, God forbid, next year.

Should I do something else with my life? Should I go back to school? Should I polish my resume and hit the streets? But what exactly would I do? I’m a writer. I believe it’s the only career you can’t walk away from. Oh, you could do something else to earn a paycheck. You could cure cancer or walk on Mars or win an Academy Award, but everywhere you go, people will always ask; “Yes, but when are you going to write another book?”

Writing has chosen me and it isn’t letting go. Whether I get another book contract by the end of the year or whether I polish the three manuscripts sitting on my desk and submit them to my agent or not, or whether I bury my head under the covers and refuse to come out, I am still a writer.

I can revise my plans for a short time, but I can’t walk away from writing. It is who I’ll always be. So I’ll go back to revising my books, not falling too much in love with my words, and hope my dear husband doesn’t get tired of paying the bills while I wait on that elusive contract.

It will come, of that I’m certain.

No comments:

Post a Comment