Writers can get discouraged in the pursuit of craft and trade. The night I am writing this, Twitter lit up with a hashtag of #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter. I remembered a few of those things I heard and decided to share a handful of them and why they are discouraging and in many instances, just disrespectful.
1. That’s a great hobby.
For as long as I can remember, I never viewed writing as a hobby. The general reading public may still look at it that way. From the time I was younger, I always believed it to be a trade and an art form at the same time. I pursue this business and trade with passion and perseverance, and harder than any “hobby” than I might enjoy.
2. Good Luck With That
Let me explain why saying this to a writer or anyone has a negative connotation. Say this phrase out loud. The “that” part of this sentence can imply sarcasm. People might view the pursuit of something in the arts as a pipe dream. This is rather unfortunate. There are many people who have said this sentence to someone who has gone on to be successful. Being successful in this business does not necessarily mean being a best-selling author. Being able to work is a basis for being successful in itself.
3. You are not published so you’re not a writer.
There are many in this business who may not be published or never will be published. People can and will chase a dream of publishing their entire careers and may never see their names on the page. However, break down the trade further. Technical writers may never get formal credit in print for designing manuals they might produce. Ghost writers who are putting together books for others will likely be paid a nice remuneration for their work, despite never seeing their name in print. Most in this business chase a dream of being published. If you are writing because you want to, then you are a writer. End of discussion.
4. You make money doing that?
I have actually heard this one recently. I write because I love it. It just so happens that I’m fortunate to be able to earn some money doing it. Few who love this business and the craft are in it for the money. Let’s face it. It is very easy for companies to look online at a seemingly endless pool of freelancers across the globe. It is a challenge to market oneself and keep putting yourself out there. So yes, you can make money doing it.
Twitter has brought out these and many dozens more that are worth. If you have Twitter, check out the #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter hashtag on and read away. Or share a few of your own in the comment section.