So you want to be a writer? I’m sorry. No, really, being a writer is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s also been the most frustrating and, at times, the most depressing. Right, I’m sorry. I’ve been a professional writer for almost 20 years. In that time, I have published books with major publishers like Viking and Barron’s, self-published, written for major newspapers like The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, and even got to read my work on All Things Considered – a huge moment in my life.
Seeing your book reviewed in The New York Times is an epic event. However, it’s not an easy path. Truthfully, unless you are compelled to write, don’t bother trying to be a professional writer. Really, be something else – anything else. Nursing pays way more and is very rewarding from what I hear. Be a computer programmer or a heck, an ice cream scooper would probably make more than I have some years.
On the other hand, being a writer has enabled me to not only travel and write amazing stories about amazing people. I have been able to speak about my writing to audiences all over the country. I have seen my books in libraries everywhere and my book has been a staple in college classrooms and become a part of the curriculum in some places. That feels very rewarding.
I’ve also gotten some checks, both large and small, along the way. In addition, I have made steady income by copywriting, writing for blogs and content mills and many other places. Our trips to live in Alaska, Hawaii and in all over the country in the school bus were funded by my ability to write for a living. Usually, I only have to do it for a few hours in the morning. My point? If you like to write and are pretty good at it – you can to. Writing is not hard, but it can also be very hard. This blog is for those who want to take on that challenge and learn the truth about being a “real” writer.