How To Tell If You Are Cut Out To Be A Professional Writer
People write for all kinds of reasons. Some do so because they feel it’s a good business strategy to create blog posts. Others write because the have a passion about a particular subject. There’s one element that will help you sustain your writing efforts over time, even over a career or writing, and if you are lucky enough to be possessed by one particular motivation, you might just be a real writer with a future as a professional. It’s simple.
There’s a difference between writing to achieve some end — making money, establishing oneself, or just because, and writing because it’s so fundamental to you as a person that you HAVE to write or you feel out of sorts, or that you aren’t doing the “right” thing for you. On one level it’s a kind of obsessiveness which can drive you a bit nuts, but on another level, it’s the motivation that drives you to your keyboard almost every day. And if you are afflicted by this writing virus, you can’t really stop writing. Ask yourself the questions:
- If I don’t write, do I feel like I should be writing?
- If I don’t write, do I feel less comfortable, and wish I WAS writing?
- Do ideas for articles keep running through my head, even if I’m not actually sitting at my keyboard?
- When I read the writing of others, does their work cause me to think about what I should be writing?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you may be on the path to writing as a vocation — because, you HAVE to write because it’s part of you as a person, rather than writing as a task or job.
Not to worry. You don’t have to HAVE to write to be a top notch writer. Where it helps is in your motivation and “stick to it-ness”. Being compelled to write is valuable for a number of reasons, but it’s not essential. Consider: If you want to eventually write a book, rather than something shorter that can be completed in a short time, you NEED that obsessiveness to be able to complete the project. Writing a book is hard. It means consistent work over a relatively long period of time, and your obsessiveness — you NEED to write will bring you back to the keyboard even on the days when you’d rather be doing anything else but write. It can drive you through the tough times. A lot of people start books, or claim they want to eventually write a book, but few actually complete one, or even begin, because they lack the motivation to stick to it. If you HAVE to write, you will go back. If you are a blogger, or online writer, or someone who writes much shorter material, then the issue is a bit different. If you want a following, you need to write material in a consistent way, producing material regularly, and once again, you need to get through the times when you simply don’t feel like writing. You get tired of it. If you HAVE to write, because it’s a part of you as a person, you WILL go back sooner rather than later. And that gives you a sustainable advantage as a writer.
Being obsessed, or having to write is obviously a double edged sword, because the desire to write can intrude on the rest of your life. It is both a blessing and a curse, but if you have this obsession, you may be cut out for a career in writing, or in a job that requires a lot of writing done on a regular basis. And if you don’t have the obsession, you’ll have to find other ways to motivate yourself through the times when the thought of putting words on paper or into the electron stream is just about as attractive as a root canal job.
Originally published at robertbacal.blogspot.com on March 19, 2018.