Writing Is Risky Business

by Charlotte Burgess, Age 17, Australia


I once read a quote by Olin Miller that said, “Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.” I’ve heard that this is true, and why shouldn’t it be?  Writing is risky business. There is never any guarantee that your stories or your articles will be accepted. There is never any guarantee that you’ll become a success, and there certainly isn’t any guarantee that the novel you worked so hard on will ever make enough money to pay the rent.

Sometimes I think about giving up. I think about becoming a lawyer or a psychologist just so that I won’t have to face this instability, and the fear that I will never make a single cent out of my writing. I would be more likely to have a stable career if I choose to do something else, but somehow I don’t think I’d be happy.

I know I’m not the only aspiring writer who shares these fears. We’re always thinking things  like, “There are so many people who are better than me,” and, “I’ll never be good enough for this.”

In the end, I push all those thoughts away. In the end, I say, “This is who I want to be,” and I make all my decisions based on that. I write every day in the hope that my skills will improve. I’m going to study English at university. I’m going to do everything that I need to do so that one day I can call myself a writer.


Charlotte Burgess is a 17 year old writer from Australia. She plans to become a writer or a journalist, and she would also like to teach creative writing to high school students.   


One comment on “Writing Is Risky Business

  1. Julia

    Your writing is great! Don’t give up.

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