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Craft Talk

The Unpretty Side of Being a Writer

Happy New Year!

This is a continuation of last week’s post. To be a professional writer, did you know that you need to sacrifice something when you walk down this path? This is why so many writers nowadays depend on partners or a sizable inheritance to allow them to focus on what they do.

Anybody can call themselves a writer. I’m not splitting hairs about that.

But working-class writers like you and I don’t have that luxury.

This is a genuine question. What do you give up?

I am reminded of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when I think about it:

Maslow's hierarchy of needs: physiological, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, and self-actualization.

The writing life isn’t necessarily a triangle. I was simply using it as a graphical representation. A writer will have to give up and/or prioritize any one of Maslow’s levels over others, in order to do this thing we do.

If you have a family, writing will always take a backseat. If you are nurturing a relationship that could lead to a family, I guarantee writing will be your co-pilot, not your primary focus. If you don’t have a steady income, writing will not keep you warm at night.

It’s not easy being a full-time writer. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a goddamn liar. It’s not even up for discussion.

I feel like a caricature in the sense that I talk more about being a writer rather than actually writing. Not to say that I haven’t tried to submit my work to be published. Why the hell am I going down this path if not to be published and shared and dissected and loved?

To be forthright, I’m drowning in rejections, which is more than likely contributing to my feeling like an overall failure.

I know, I know; how many times was Harry Potter rejected before it was picked up?

It would do wonders for my already fragile ego to say, “Hey, I’ve been published here, here, and here. Buy my book because those places have already validated my worth as a writer.”

Patience is a virtue but I’d slap that bitch silly if I had the chance.

write on, Guilliean
write on, Guilliean

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By Guilliean

Filipina adjacent. (Bad) Feminist. INTJ-T. Mélomaniac. Pokémon Trainer. Raconteuse. Tsundoku. She/her. Hire me; link in bio!

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