The Bad News About Turning Pro as a Writer

People often ask me what it takes to turn pro as a writer, and I’m happy to tell them. Because that’s the easy part. But the truth is that isn’t what they need.

Bad News
Photo Credit: x1klima via Compfight cc

Last week, I hosted a webinar and was amazed at the feedback I received. Lots of people told me how, as a result of the live training, they committed to pursuing their calling as a writer. One attendee, Bruce, tweeted: “Guys, fantastic. I’ve been to a few writer webinars. This one? Seriously, the best.”

Wow! I love hearing that. As someone who seeks to add value to the lives of others, I get a huge boost of energy from comments like that. It shows people are enjoying my content, which is always great to hear. But honestly, that’s not enough.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the affirmation. But just because people know what to do doesn’t mean they’ll do it. You have to take what you learn and put it into action. Otherwise the information is worthless. Another webinar attendee, Jaina, said it best:

Thanks so much for all the encouragement — time to go write & make it real!

She’s right. What we need is not more information. We need to take what we know and make it real.

So here’s the bad news…

Pursuing your calling, especially as a writer, is not an easy process.

In fact, it can be one of the scariest, hardest, and most frustrating things you’ll ever do. When I first got started, I often felt lonely and depressed. Even now, I’m not immune to the discouragement of critics and the sting of failure.

This is hard. That’s the bad news. But in the midst of the difficulty, there’s something satisfying to hold on to. Though it can be difficult to chase a dream, the good news is: it’s worth it.

The process can be hard and even sometimes scary, but I don’t regret making the decision two years ago to quit my job and go full-time. Because I would rather do hard things that matter than easy things that don’t.

When you’re up an hour late and up again two hours early the next morning to meet a deadline, you remember this is the good stuff. The striving, the pushing, the journey. That’s what you signed up for. That’s what you should expect.

What it really takes to turn pro

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you had a crazy idea once of wanting to chase a dream and wondered if there was any way to actually make a living off it. And maybe like most people, you didn’t do anything with it.

Why is that? Because, like most people, you probably weren’t taught how. Your parents didn’t teach you, your friends aren’t doing it, and school didn’t prepare you.

What’s worse, the stories of those who are doing their dreams seem too unrealistic to follow. It can feel like you have to have some sort of superpower to do what you’re meant to do. But that’s not true. Finding your calling is really just about paying attention to your life and taking action.

Recently, I started a new coaching program called The Art of Work Course, which will teach a practical process for figuring out exactly what your dream is and how to go pro with it — the smart way.

This course includes video teaching, group discussions, and live coaching from me. And just for the next few days, I’m bundling it with some of my best resources for writers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

If you want to pursue your dream but don’t know the next steps, this is for you.

Here’s the thing…

Whether you join the program or not, here’s what I don’t want you to miss: Finding your calling is a difficult process, but one you don’t have the luxury of missing.

hard things

You can continue to wonder “what if?” You can keep saying “some day.” You can even hold out for your “big break.” But chances are slim that those strategies will lead to success. Or you can choose to grow.

You can invest in yourself, counting the cost and doing the work even when it’s hard. You can choose to make your own breaks, finding opportunities where none seemed to exist, and learn what you need along the way.

As Jaina said, it’s time to make it real. I submit that such a decision begins with you. It’s something you can do today, regardless of circumstance.

I once asked best-selling author Steven Pressfield, “When does a writer become a writer?” He said: “When you say you are.” The same is true for you. I’d love to help you take the steps that follow.

What’s holding you back from turning pro? Share in the comments.