Writing – Why Choose Writing as a Career?
I’ve been contemplating these last few weeks, why choose writing as a career? Hundreds of thousands of people want to be a writer. I’ve never really understood why so many people do. Obviously I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As a child I pored over books and was swept away to the mystical lands of Narnia and I got lost in the fairy stories of the magical Enchanted Wood. Oh to be a writer, I imagined it would be a comfortable lifestyle. I would have a huge antique desk, a dog asleep at my feet, an old-fashioned typewriter at which I would while away the hours, kacha-kacha-kacha, until I had produced the next big seller.
Of course I did not for one moment imagine that writing would be the thing that I squeezed in around a full-time job, in which people do not value my creativity, merely smile and pass me of as a wannabe. I did not include in my daydream of working by a fireside overlooking some spectacular countryside view that the majority of my work would be done on a smartphone or tablet in the minutes before slumber took me.
Moreover, I did not anticipate how hard it is to make it in the writing world today. Everybody wants to be a writer, everybody wants to be famous. Unfortunately for us, few will be the next J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin. Most of us will never give up the day job. The one where we write, of course, but we draft reports, letters, minutes and board meetings, not chapters of romance, crime or drama. We will never know what it feels like to get a publishing deal, unless we enter into the seedy-underworld of self-publishing where we fear getting burnt and ending up bankrupt.
So why do we do it? Anyone can be a writer. Indeed, whilst to date I have only earnt pennies from my writing efforts, I am a writer. To some you do not crack the writing world until your book makes it to the front shelves of the nearest store. You do not need to be qualified to write. You do not need an office. You don’t need a typewriter or a computer. You need imagination, pen and paper or the modern equivalent. We can work anywhere, from coffee shops to coral reefs. We can be at work all the time – sat at traffic lights I am often found repeating words over and over until I can immortalise them in my notebook when I reach my destination.
We are the modern bohemians, the creative, fanciful folk. We are whatever we want to be as we all write to differently. I don’t know my audience yet, today’s will differ from tomorrow’s.
I will never give up writing and I hope one day perhaps my name will be known somewhere for good reason. I remember my reasons for beginning to write and that spurs me on. So over to you lovelies: What inspired you to write and what keeps you going?