I’ve been a writer on and off for the last 24 years. I’ve started several blogs, written and completed 3 books, have about 13 more in various stages, and even published a few articles on Helium.com. Yet, every day I struggle to be a writer. Actually, not struggle to be a writer, but struggle to be consistent in my writing. The few that have read my writing say I’m good at it. In fact, one of my articles was on the front page of Helium.com.
So why am I not a successful writer making a boat load of money? I’ve wondered that for quite a while now.
When I first started writing, I thought I was hot shit. Nothing could touch me. Yet, all I was really doing was yelling at the world. There was no meat, the stories were filled with clichés, and I received 15 rejections for what I did. And I deserved every one of them. I was also betrayed by someone close to me because I didn’t listen to my instincts, so I became obsessed with my writing. Trying to find an escape from the real world. In this phase, a couple of my projects were better than they were, but still not good enough.
Then I hit the regret stage, judged myself for what I had or hadn’t done, and wondered if I could ever doing anything.
This regret stage is also a judgment stage. Not necessary other people judging me, though I worry about that quite a bit. What kind of reputation am I putting out there? How do people perceive my words? How do they perceive me, both in real life and through my words? I want to be perceived as a good writer who knows what they are doing and can bring words to life, and not some babbling fool who doesn’t know a thing, or is suffering from paranoia, grand delusions, or some other malady that labels them as crazy. Not being consistent with what I wrote or when I wrote was, and still is, a big problem. That, in my mind, added to the perception that I didn’t know what I was doing. My blogs have died because of this. I still have one left, but sadly, it hasn’t been updated in a while.
Money and practicality has also been an issue for me. The practical side, and drive, always seemed to conflict with my creative side. I thought when I discovered web design and became a web designer, I had finally found my answer and the way to balance both sides. For a while I had. I even got into web programming. I started my own business and figured that I would be successful. To some extent, I have been. I’ve made money as a web designer / programmer, but only ever been just enough to get by. Also, I’m not really happy doing it, because it seems I’m doing less design and more programming. For someone who failed Turbo Pascal twice in college, I’m not exactly the quickest, so I don’t want to charge my clients for the times that I’m trying to figure stuff out. Though eventually I do figure stuff out, and find ways to do things that people say can’t be done.
Now, I am burnt on my practical side and not wanting to be stuck doing the same thing for the next ten years. I need to make the transition back to my creative side. I don’t know how, or if I will succeed. I need to try though. I need to make writing my career.