It’s an odd thought, but it makes a lot of sense if you take the time to really think about it. Writing is like boxing in that requires a lot of time, a lot of practice, and a lot of training in order get good enough to step in the ring with the real contenders and prove that you can bang. Writing is a rough life to take on since it’s not guaranteed money, fame, fortune, or anything other than the long hours you’ll spend trying to be the best you can and having to stay at the top of your game in order to still be considered the best there is.
How you enter a story is important, as it sets the tone and lets the reader know: you paid to play and now you’re in my world. You’d better be ready.
It’s not a perfect life though, far from it.
Anyone out there thinking that is the road to riches needs to think twice and either get out of the game before you get disappointed or buckle up and get ready for the long haul. This job will beat you to the ground if you let it and daylight will become a thing of the past if you invest yourself in the madness that is writing without ever learning what it’s like to struggle and make your way to the top.
You know who has it easy when it comes to writing? The people that enter the game with a bank roll and a team of specialists whose only job is to make sure that the writer makes it, that’s who. If you come to this game fully-loaded and ready to rock you might have a chance. But those folks are usually the ones that are doing it for publicity, for the starshine that they’ve already achieved and don’t want to lose. In other words, it’s a gimmick.
Those of us that start from the bottom and scratch and claw our way up are great in number and do whatever it takes to prove what we’ve got. We take our lumps, we accept the hits, and we don’t tend to give up so easily since we want it that bad. If you’re not ready to step in this ring and realize just how hard it’s going to be then get out now and find another profession. Otherwise knuckle up and keep moving forward.
You’re going to take your lumps, so get used to it.
Whatever carefully-laid plans you had for your writing career are best left at the door when you start up, because if you don’t alter them, toss them, or realize what’s going to happen then life, editors, critics, and if you’re lucky, fans, will do that for you. Writing isn’t always the perfect job, it’s not always a fun job. If you want success you’ll take on jobs that you don’t want because they pay. You’ll write about things you don’t give a damn about because the bills have to be paid, and you’ll be grateful because it’s one more step on the road of experience that you’ll need later in life.
Don’t expect anyone to be nice to you but be glad if someone is. Don’t expect them to help you along the way, but don’t refuse that help if it’s given. You want someone to pay attention to you? Write something worth reading.
But don’t expect anyone to notice, don’t expect that anyone is going to take time out of their busy schedule to help you, and certainly don’t expect that you’re going to be the next big overnight hit.
The only hits that are guaranteed to come will happen when you try to step into the literary ring, and you’d best be able to take them, or you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever bothered.
This isn’t a kind business and it’s not meant to be. If you can write then do it. But be ready to take the hits.