So you want to be a writer.

My first question is WHY?

I hope your first answer isn’t, “So I can get rich, sit back, and live on my royalties on an island somewhere.” If so, you may want to stop right here and reconsider.

However, if your answer is more along the lines of, “Because I love to write. Plus I have this burning desire that needs to be fed daily, or I am an irritable, unhappy, soul to be around.” Okay, now you just may have a chance.

A writer’s life is not a joy ride of fame and fortune, at least not for most writers. Of course, there are always the exceptions. First off, let me say, being a writer is not for the weak. It takes an awesome amount of courage and determination and the journey is never an easy one. Read the biography or listen to an interview of any one of your favorite authors, you’ll see what I mean. Many of us yearn to be writers, but not all have what it takes. To endure life as a writer you must possess or acquire two things. One, a skin as tough and thick as an elephants and two, the willpower to maintain your sanity regardless of the forces that attack. And they will attack!

If stranded on an island alone, and the only way off were through the jungle, would you have the courage and determination to step from the open sandy beach and forge into the underbrush, where unknown perils await you?

If so, then you just may have what it takes to realize your dream. As an aspiring writer myself, I stumble forward daily making my way slowly, but determined, through the jungle of a writer’s life. Many pitfalls await you on your journey. My hope is to offer you a swinging vine so you can avoid the swampy areas that may catch you off guard.

Each week I’ll strive to share tools, ideas, tips, and reminders to help you on your journey. I will also share my thoughts on how to stay motivated and how to push forward when life gets in the way. For now, I’ll leave you with the number one tip all aspiring writers and seasoned writers must know.

Number 1 tip: Writing takes tenacity; without it, you are doomed before you begin.

By now, you are probably thinking to yourself or maybe even screaming at the monitor, “Okay, I get it, you can stop lecturing now. I’m a stubborn, determined, tough skinned life form who wants, okay, needs to be a writer. Damn the pitfalls, forget the swamp, I have my waders on, so let’s get on with it!”

Wahoo! Now you’re ready. We’ll begin with what is absolutely the most important and often hardest rule for all writers. Can you guess what it is? Click the comment button and share what you think then check back next week to find out if we agree. In the meantime, go write something awesome. No ideas? Write a 100-word snippet on why you want to be a writer then hang it where you’ll see it every day. I promise it will not be a waste of your time. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Your Writers Weekly Webmaster

First you must define the term writer. The Encarta Dictionary describes a writer as somebody who writes books, articles or other text as a profession. So does that mean that just because writing is not my number one profession that I’m not a writer? I prefer to take the opinion that “I write, therefore I’m a writer.”

Thomas Mann said it best.

typewriterA writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~Thomas Mann

Only those who aren’t writers think of writing as easy. Those of us whose passion is writing understand the hours and frustration that goes into writing, rewriting, editing, and then rewriting again, and again, and again only to still be dissatisfied with the final result.

Most anyone can be taught how to write. Anyone who has every taken an English class has been taught the techniques of how to write a good essay, report, or opinion piece, but does that constitute them as a writer.

In my humble opinion writers are those who write because it is a passion not just a means of making money. Those who have the passion to write and make money doing it, well they’re the lucky ones.

Writing is not easy and anyone who tells you different has never faced all the little writers’ quirks, such as writers block, researching grammar rules, editing plot inconsistencies, developing engaging dialogue between characters, not to mention the countless hours of editing and rewriting.

So regardless of whether you get paid for your writing, which we all hope we will eventually, if you’re a writer you will write even if  it’s only for your own pleasure.