Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job


The good news is I am writing again. The bad news is what I am writing. It’s selection criteria.* For a job application. For a job that has nothing to do with writing. I always said 2014 was my one year to give the writing/publishing thing a chance. One year to see if I had any business putting words on a page for a wider audience to share. One year where I could have been earning money for the family but was instead following creative pursuits. One year to give it a go.

Someone asked me how I would know if I was successful. What would make me think I could follow the writing dream beyond the year: Would I have to have been awarded a $10000 contract? Have got a nibble from a publisher? Or just had my dad telling folks at the bus stop that his daughter wrote lovely stories?

No I don't want to see photos. You got fish or not?

No I don't want to see photos. You got fish or not?

I answered ‘a nibble.’ Some indication by someone in the publishing industry that I had something to give. I was quickly reminded that in the writing industry, one year is rarely enough.

But it is all I have.

‘Hang on a second, it is only September!’ I hear you say. 'There are many months left in the year, are you going to give up already?!'

I am. For two main reasons:

One is that if I want to earn some proper money with a regular job next year, I need to start organising it now.

The second is that I have no chance at all of succeeding as a writer this year. For two main reasons (stay with me now):

One is that it has been a very dark year full of bewildering tragedies and I haven’t been able to write for many months. So I have very little to submit.

The second is the realisation that even if I did have something to submit, I am unlikely to submit it. For two main reasons (nah, just messing wichya).

For just one reason: CONFIDENCE. Or should I say confidence.

I have read a lot about 'becoming a writer' in the last year or so and I have taken much of the advice on. I started reading more books from different genres, I spoke to writers about writing, attended writing workshops, and asked for feedback on my writing. I read about writing, made myself a writing profile, tried calling myself a writer (whispered it really), and I wrote (that one is always good). To be honest, I probably have even had what you would call 'a nibble.'

But if you want to be a published writer you have to submit your writing to publishers. It was in my plan. Write, write, write, submit, submit, submit.

As it turns out, you can’t submit anything if you don’t have any confidence. And you can't be successful without submitting, no matter how many years you put aside to do it. It should be the first piece of advice on everyone’s list of 'how to become a writer'. Find yourself some farking confidence.

To be continued…**

When life gives you lemons, make a necklace out of typewriter keys.

When life gives you lemons, make a necklace out of typewriter keys.

*and yes, obviously I have written this. Thanks smart arse.

** that is a strategy I am using to make sure I write some more. It’s so sneaky, I am sure I will fall for it.