And that’s good.
It’s important to have communication skills. It’s good to be able to write and express your thoughts. Especially in an age in which there is such unrestricted access to so many other people.
But if you want to be a writer, that’s not enough.
There must be passion
I don’t mean to be harsh here, but can you do something — anything — for an extended period of time without loving it?
I sure wouldn’t recommend it.
Of course, many people do this every day. And some for the rest of their lives.
They’re hacking away at jobs they hate, doing work they loathe because they feel stuck. They have no idea what opportunities await them. Or perhaps, they simply lack the courage to take risks.
But if you’re to be a writer — a bard, an artist, a storyteller whose life’s work is dedicated to the written word — you really need to love writing.
The difference between vocation and occupation
Vocation is a life calling. A passion.
Occupation is what merely occupies your time. Maybe it even pays your bills.
With a vocation, you may never get paid, but it’s still something you have to do. Why? Because you can’t imagine life without this passion.
As one of my friends says, a vocation is something you “can’t not do.” (Pardon the double negative.)
This is why real writers write.
You are compelled to do it, maybe even a little obsessed. For love of the craft — not the fame or money or accolades. Just writing for the sake of creating art.
If you’re going to be a writer, you have to love it
This is a non-negotiable. If not, you’ll burn out.
I hear some writers say they don’t love writing, but they love having written. I don’t buy that.
Life’s too short to spend your time doing things you don’t love.
You need to enjoy the act of writing — at least a little bit — while you do it. I don’t think any discipline can overcome lack of passion.
Sure, there will be days when you don’t feel like doing it. But that doesn’t negate the passion that began the pursuit. And as you sit down, maybe even forcing yourself to write, you will fall in love all over again.
But if you do love writing, it’s time to get serious.
Oh, and the good news is this: The world rewards artists who create for the love of it.
In other words, yes, you can actually make money at this, if you’re smart.
What are you waiting for?
*Photo credit: nromagna (Creative Commons)
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