If You Want to be a Successful Writer, You Need to Get Serious
Writing is not for the weak. To be successful, you need to give it everything you’ve got.
Writing is serious business.
It’s not something to take on lightly, or to do once or twice a month when you feel inspired to put thoughts down on paper.
If you want to be a writer, you can’t go half in. You can’t think about something you might possibly maybe someday write next year or the year after. You can’t start a novel and then abandon it three days later because it got too difficult.
Writing is hard. It’s really, really, really hard. Not just the first novel you write. But all of them.
I have written twenty novels. I’m currently revising two of them, and I’m adding new chapters to a third one.
You’d think by now I’d have the formula down. That I’d know exactly what it takes to write not just a great book, but a great book that will sell to publishers and make me millions of dollars.
The truth is, after ten years actively writing fiction, I still don’t really know what makes a great book.
I’m still not sure what I could write next that would make me a gazillionaire. I’ve tried to write a few books in the past that I thought might make me money. They all failed.
They all made me learn that taking on a new novel needs to be about passion for the story, for the characters. It needs to come from somewhere deep inside me, a story I feel needs to be told from the only person who can tell it.
I’ve been writing fiction almost every day for nearly a decade, and I still am making very little money from my endeavors.
I’d guess 99% of people in my position would have probably given up by now. I’ve had rejection like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve had failure after failure. I’ve watched as friends and colleagues got multiple books published and endless writing success. I’ve struggled a whole hell of a lot.
And yet I’ve survived. I’ve kept going.
I kept writing more books. I pursued higher education, first as a Masters in English, then as a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I’ve gotten better. My writing has improved, and my stories are more unique and engaging. I signed with an agent in 2017. I have a book on submission to editors right now.
Exciting news could be coming my way soon, and it all comes down to one thing: perseverance.
I’ll repeat what I said before: writing is serious. You have to go all in if you want to be a writer. It doesn’t matter how old you are, and what stories you want to tell.
If you want to do this, you have to devote your life to it.
You have to tune out the rest of the world for a few hours every day and write. You have to be willing to fail, and fail often. You have to learn to take rejection, and keep going no matter what.
Writing is not for the weak. If you’re strong, and if you love storytelling, and you want to see your name on the spine of a book one day, get started, write every day, read a lot, do your best.
And never give up!
Brian Rowe is an author, teacher, book devotee, and film fanatic. He received his MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his BA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He writes young adult and middle grade suspense novels, and is represented by Kortney Price of the Corvisiero Agency.