Are you familiar with the phrase ‘to learn about writing you must read’?
Every professional writer, every writing coach, teacher or professor will tell you that besides following all the rules of language and grammar, besides learning how to create characters and scenes, plot and suspense, and how to write believable dialogue, to become a successful writer you must also read. Read all kinds of books and especially read from the authors you like the most and learn from their work. Yet no book can make a writer of you. You must make the journey yourself. The journey to becoming a successful writer.
Writing is never easy. And the road you set on to become a writer is full of difficulties and hardship. You need time to write and time, just like everything else in life, has its own price. To get the time to write you have to give up something. Sometimes the things you give up are also dear and near to you, like lunch, or sleep, or a social life, or maybe even FaceBook and Twitter and the internet altogether. But nonetheless you can always make time for the things you really want to do. And as such you are willing to change your routine and organize yourself and your time for the sake of your work, your writing.
But writing in itself is a vocation so compelling that even after you know all the hard work involved, there is still nothing else you’d rather do. In the words of Ray Bradbury:
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.”
You cannot give it up- at least not for long. How can you give it up when you are the maker and shaker of worlds? Worlds of your own creation where you can be anything and anyone in any time or place or occupation. Where else can you love and hate and conquer all obstacles? Where else can you be the hero, and choose to do however you like and say whatever comes to your mind, as long as you stay within the context of your own creation?
But as a writer you must have readers. If your work is not read, if people don’t read your book, it’s as if you are writing a diary, it feels like you are keeping a journal. Because reading is the other half of writing. And as such it demands the best you have to offer. What you think and say in your books and stories is far from unimportant or inconsequential. For everything people read becomes a part of them and therefore, it demands the best from you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
“The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or song.”
I hope you will find happiness in your writing and perhaps (maybe) employment too.