by Jillian Hermoso, Southeast Asia Blogger jaBlog!
Artwork by Katie King
For everyone who loves writing to the point of considering a career in that field, I know exactly how you feel––how exciting it is to imagine your books sold out in stores, endless mail talking about your marvellous work, and being recognized as a person with an extraordinary gift. Ever since I finished my first story, that idea has been foremost in my mind.
When I first dreamed of being a writer, I thought it would be like living on a cloud. I imagined the daily life of J.K. Rowling or John Green whenever I would fantasize my future, but that isn’t reality. I realized that when it was time to pick my college courses. At that point, I had to reflect on whether or not I really wanted writing as my career.
The things I had to consider really made me worry. I knew I would have to go through many hardships. One of those would be rejection, something we all hate to experience. I would be working hard for years on a novel until I finally finished it; then I would send it to publishers. They would all say that it’s not good enough, or that it’s not anything they’d ever seen before. I would need a lot of strength to pick myself up and work even harder on my next one.
And during that time, I’d have to do some freelance writing, if I wanted to support myself. Freelancing is not the best occupation because of its unstable income, and I sometimes may not even get recognition for my work, but I would have to do it to succeed in my career. Even if it meant filling myself to the brim with deadlines and endless work hours, I’d have to deal with it or else my savings will disappear instantly. I would have to do this until the day comes when my books are earning serious revenue. But that could take a very long time since the success of even a great book depends on how many people hear about it, like it, and recommend it. I would have to be very patient.
Thinking about all of this made me feel so overwhelmed and hesitant about being a writer. It all seemed so frustrating and difficult, but I recalled how much I really do love writing and how happy I’d be in the end, living as the writer as I had always imagined. So what if all of those hard times will be waiting for me? Achieving success with anything in life will take emotional, physical, and mental challenges. I might as well achieve success in something I love doing.
The life of a writer may not be as fantastic or easy as living on a cloud, but if writing is what gets you excited about starting your day, what difference does it make?
If you start doubting your dream of being a writer, or if you start to get scared about the challenges ahead, just remember that everything you’ll go through is just another step towards those five-star reviews, sold-out copies, and people wanting to ask you advice on how to be a great writer. The time will come when you take that last step to reach the top.