Writing for a living

As of today, internet pal and fellow Read & Trust member, Shawn Blanc, is living the dream. His website is now his full-time job. He writes for a living.

Apart from being very pleased for him, I’m also impressed by how, despite embarking on such an awesome journey, he’s taking the time to reflect on the trials and tribulations of what it means to be a writer:

What do you write as the very first post on the first day of your new job as a full-time writer? I have no idea. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. And now that I actually carry that title it doesn’t fully seem legitimate.

I think this sentiment is something all writers, professional or otherwise, can relate to. I write for a living and I’ve got my first novel under my belt, but I still have days when the words won’t come and I wonder what the heck I’m playing at.

Truth is, being a writer, especially taking that step where you actually refer to yourself as such, is incredibly daunting. It’s natural to question your ability. It’s normal to look at other writers and think, ‘Crikey, look at them, they’re brilliant.’

But being a writer isn’t always about writing perfect paragraphs and exquisite sentences. Sometimes it’s about communicating in the best possible way and at the most appropriate time. However and whenever that may be.

Here’s what Shawn thinks:

Emotion, honesty, truth, passion. These are the backbones of writing. And these are the very things that can be the hardest to put into our writing. I often find myself caring more about how I say things than what I am saying. The how and the what are certainly important, but not equally so.

There are lots of writing nuggets in this article, but the thing I take away from it is this. If you care enough about your work, are willing to work hard and stay desperate to improve, you’ve won half the battle as a writer.

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