Monday, April 9, 2012

Dreams of Becoming a Full Time Writer

I dream about becoming a full-time writer. I would write, write, write and work a part-time job for income. I want to publish, I want to make writing my life's work. I would love to teach writing workshops.
If someone wants to go into computer science, or become a doctor we don’t question if they are going to make it in their field. We question the people that go into the arts. The ones that want to be a painter, a dancer, a writer. We ask them, what are the odds you are going to make it? How are you going to make any money?
I’ve been reading this wonderful book called, The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. She believes that if you really want something and you are willing to do the work then the odds are in your favor, not against you. If you write often, and continue to hone your craft, then you will get published. For that matter, why not self-publish? Julia self-published The Artists Way and that made it big.
She suggested writing two letters. One letter is from your inner writer to your practical self, the other letter is from your practical self to your inner writer. I highly recommend this exercise if you are like me, struggling with the desire to become a full-time writer.  This could be great to do anytime you are struggling between different options in your life. You will be surprised what comes out of you, and the clarity you can find if you just write it out.
Dear Practical Self,
Listen up, Chica. You are a good writer! You do inspire people. You are really on to something with the blog thing, with helping others, with your stories.
I want you to finish the stories, publish them, even self-publish. Just keep it up!
You are good enough, you can do this, this is your life. Take a f’n chance why don’t you! Reach for what you want. Make it happen! If you don’t who will?
Dear Writer,
I know you’re excited, but I’m scared. What about money, what about paying the bills? Doesn’t writing make so little and take so long to get it when you do get published? Why don’t we comprise here? We can write as much as we can, and have fun with it. But keep our day jobs a while, ok?
Bone up on the craft, Shorty. And yes keep writing toward your dreams, the road is paved in ink and sweat.
But we both see the destination, were making this our life, a priority, making it our goal here and now.
Lets do it!
What did this do? While I was writing my desire to follow my dreams started pouring out of me, and I now feel it very strongly. My writer self is upset that I duck-taped her mouth shut. Now that I let her have a say, she is yelling,"Do it! Go for it! C’mon!" I am thinking about it now, a lot. I am wondering if I could work less, write more. If I could declare myself to the world that I AM a writer and I am making this my life! 

I passed a church on my walk this morning and came across a large wooden cross that was covered in flowers. It spoke to me. Passion can be painful, but it can also lead us to incredible beauty, love and even joy. Don't duck-tape your dreamer's mouth shut. Let them speak. And listen.

See Also:

The Secret to Success: Quiting By Kristen Lamb
" It takes guts to be any kind of creative professional. Hire yourself to the job you dream about. TODAY."


  1. Sound advice! Something I have struggled with a lot since I thought I could try and be a writer. I always thought I can't do this, I can't give up working and just write full time, it just wouldn't work. I have to do more than just write. Often I thought that I wasn't talented enough to make it as a writer. Many times I thought it just wasn't possible.
    Now, I think it is possible, and somehow both my writer self and practical self are working in harmony. I am at Uni studying something that I love, and will lead to a garunteed job (not writing obviously), but I am writing all the time I can! I am serious about one day being a published writer, but I will also one day do a job that will pay the bills. The great thing about this job is that it is a mond-fri job, which means that I can spend the whole weekend writing. It's like I will have the best of both worlds soon enough (I hope) and I look forward to it.
    Moral I guess is is to find that balance. Do not give up on what you love, but also be practical. One day you will be published, and you will earn enough to give up the day job and write full time (how cool to pay the bills with something like writing!) but until then find something else you love to do, that pays the bills but still gives you enough time to write.
    Must check out that book sometime!

  2. Laura, thank you for your thoughts. I think you have a good plan. You are following your dreams while still being practical. I think you will go far in writing. We both will! We just need to keep it up, and believe in ourselves. I know we can make our dreams happen.

  3. I understand the feeling. For a while, I almost gave up on my writing, didn't want to take it seriously, because I thought that the odds would never be in my favor. I know now, with the support of my family and the courage in myself is what's helping push further into my writing abilities. I crave for that moment when I can sign a contract, making my work official and real. It's all a daze now, and I hope my dream will come true (Along with yours!). Sometimes it's nice to know that there are people out there who feel the same way. Great advice!

    1. I hope that you never give up on your writing. I know it can be hard sometimes. I'm glad you have support and encouragement. More and more I am realizing that is something every writer needs. I think we could all use community too, it is a hard road to walk alone. Stay committed to your writing and know there are people out there rooting for you. Someday you will be signing a contract! :)

  4. This is a very cool exercise! And an ever-ongoing conversation I have with myself too - the practical side vs. the writer. :)

    1. Thanks Nicole! I think many of us have that internal struggle. Sometimes are more struggly than others. Your blog is wonderful, and you have a real talent for writing. I'm interested in finding out more about your books too. I hope writing is something you will continue to do, your words are really inspiring.

  5. Hello Andrea, I enjoyed reading your post and I think you will live your dream. I am also someone like you, I am a teacher now but I want to take to writing later, or may be teach creative writing to my students. But I haven't even written a single story till now, may be i should start on my first story. Thank you for that.

    1. Hi Nobu,

      Thank you for stopping by. I think you should start writing as much as you can now. Write as much as you can, knowing that you will get better and better at it the more you do it. It also helps you to hone your writing practice. The writing community online are awesome people and very supportive. I wish you all the best in achieving your dreams! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.



Linked Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...