Most people think writers live the life. Writers lay around in pajamas writing stories and making millions of dollars. They control their schedule, and of course, travel to exotic places all over the world.
I can picture it now. I’m sitting on a lounge chair, drinking a cold glass of lemonade and looking out as the waves roll in, before I turn my attention back to my computer and start typing my flawless manuscript. I can’t believe I got it perfect the first time 🙂
Only a handful of writers live out even part of that scenario, and that’s because they have become so successful, they can afford to visit or live at those exotic places, and of course, sip their drink of choice while lying on the beach typing their next bestseller.
For the rest of us, reality is very different. If you want to become a writer, it’s a tough road. I wanted to take a few minutes to give you a reality check. I have listed a few things a writer has to do other than writing.
- Writers are continuously reading books in their genre and how-to books/tips on writing. We analyze what works and what doesn’t work. How can we use this information to improve our own writing?
- Writers have to plan. What other books are we going to write? What’s next? We develop a strategy and create outlines for our books.
- Writers have to do research, especially if the storyline takes place in a different time period or location that we are unfamiliar with.
- Writers have to network. Someone’s eyes, other than our own, must read our work. This is accomplished through participation in critique groups, attending conferences, pulling in friends, and eventually hiring that editor.
- Writers edit, analyze, eliminate redundancies, and then edit some more before they even send work out to critique groups or friends (I hope).
- Writers have to market and promote their work. Another reason to attend conferences.
- Writers have to build their platform. You will find them on Facebook, Twitter, and keeping up with an active website.
- Writers have to learn to accept rejection. Unfortunately, it’s a major part of the business. Writers receive many more rejections than acceptances.
- Writers have to have patience! Why isn’t that agent getting back with me? They’ve had my full manuscript for three months.
- Also, just like everybody else, Writers live life. They have families and many have full-time jobs.
So, if you’re thinking writers live the life, think again. Writing has to be your passion. It’s the motivator that will get you through and ensure your success.