Being A Writer – Is It Worth It?

By on January 11, 2018
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For so many writers the big question that they must ask themselves is, is it worth it? Writers spend so many hours toiling away at their work, and the majority of them do so for no money, and no praise. Getting even a handful of people to buy your finished novel can be exhausting and stressful, and even then, one negative review could cut you to the quick and put you back to square one.

So is it really worth it in the end? Ask enough authors, and you’d probably get a mixed response. Here are some of the things that mean the answer may very much hang in the balance.

Long hours and never feeling down Vs you pick your own hours and a great work/life balance

Writing can be an exhausting and thankless task; it can see you working into the night, or getting up at the crack of dawn to start again. However, choose writing as your career, and there is no reason why you can’t get the balance right. You set your own hours; you are your own boss. You can fit your writing around other things your love to do - who wouldn’t want to work like that?

A lonely working environment Vs a writing community

Writing can be a very lonely job and can see many spending days on end holed up in their office barely speaking to another person or glancing up to remember that there is a whole wide world out there. On the other hand, there is a fantastic community of writers out there who are willing to support and help one another, often in remarkable and selfless ways - so if you want to get involved, there is no reason why you can’t.

Little chance of getting published Vs 100% certainty of being published

OK so the chances of getting your work picked up by a traditional publisher are dishearteningly slim, and that can feel somewhat daunting to many writers. However, with the emergence of self-publishing, you know that if you have the determination to get your book written there is a way that you can see it in print and for sale, and having that guarantee makes bothering to write in the first place all the more worthwhile.

Self-reliance Vs following your dreams

Writing requires a lot of organisation, motivation, and sheer grit and determination too. You can’t rely on anyone else to do your writing for you, it has to come from you, and this can feel like an enormous amount of pressure to some people. However, doing so enables you to follow your dreams, to chase after your goals and to do what you are truly passionate about, and how many people can say they do that?!

Financial risk Vs the big pay off

One of the main issues when it comes to determining whether writing is worthwhile is whether or not you get paid for it. There is no denying that making a living from writing is very hard. However, for those that do end up making it big, the payoff can be extremely big!

Lack of self-belief Vs massive self-esteem

Another common complaint for the writer is that pesky inner critic that continues to tell you-you are not good enough. In no other job is there quite as much room to bully and intimidate oneself! Letting the inner critic take over can lead to some low times indeed and can even stop some writers from writing altogether. On the other side, however, by following your dreams, working hard and accomplishing your writing goals you will no doubt feel a sense of huge self-esteem which could see your confidence soar and make the whole thing very worthwhile after all!

When it comes to being a writer, you tend to get as much from it as you are willing to put in. Being a writer is an endless learning experience, has moments of sheer magic, and you always carry that hope that one day you might get the ‘yes’ you’ve been hoping for. You just wouldn’t get that in a mediocre office job now, would you?

The key to making writing worthwhile is to accept your fate. We all have to face the fact that there are no guarantees - but don’t do it for the fame and fortune, do it because you love it, and couldn’t think of doing anything else. If you get that right then you’ll never regret it, how could you?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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