Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Great Expectations

One of my cousins recently declared she is going to be a writer (or Madonna, she's still figuring it out).  I know I should be wildly supportive of anyone who wants to pursue their artistic dreams, but my first instinct was to say "It's really hard to make a living as a writer."  (And then I felt guilty for the impulse to rain on her parade.)

Being a big shot professional writer is kind of like growing up to be a professional baseball player - though the odds of making the major leagues may actually be better than making a workable living in writing fiction.  Thirty teams with 40-man rosters... as opposed to the "Big Six" publishers with only a handful of A-listers each?  I know there are indies striking it big now, but most of us are just scratching by (if that).  Even some people who've made best seller lists aren't rolling in it the way you might think.  Think I'm exaggerating?  Check out this article.

But see the thing is, none of that will matter if writing is your passion.  If it's that thing you can't imagine not doing.  Like Sinclair Lewis said:
It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.

Truer words never spoken - but you notice he doesn't say anything about fame or fortune.  As a get rich quick scheme, writing is not so awesome.  As a lifelong passion for people with a thousand stories inside them screaming to get out?  Can't be beat.  Just sayin'.

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