Writing Requires….

COURAGE: There’s no guarantee that your work will be accepted, so every time you send your work to an editor, you risk the disappointment of rejection. If you want to succeed as a writer, you have to strap yourself into the emotional roller coaster and go from the anticipation of seeing your work published, to the reality of reading rejection e-mails over and over again.

PATIENCE: One of the first lessons you learn through experience, is that if you want to be a published writer, you must be willing to wait. If you send a short story to a literary journal that’s printed four times a year, hoping that it will be published in the winter edition, but it’s accepted for the spring edition, you’ll have to wait an additional three months to see your story in print.

PERSEVERANCE: What happens if the first editor you send your story to rejects it? It’s going to hurt, because you’ve poured your heart and soul into that story. Unfortunately, editors receive many more manuscripts than they can actually publish, and therefore, they’re forced to reject some well-written stories. The best option is to search for another market for your story, and submit again.

DECISIVENESS: Only you know when a manuscript it ready to either submit it to an editor, or self-publish. Only you know whether your story will work best as a novel, screenplay, or a play for live theatre. Only you can decide whether it will benefit you enough, to allow your work to be published without receiving any payment. Some literary journals are staffed entirely by volunteers, and their limited budget does not include any money for writers, but the prestige you receive having your short story or essay included in their publication, will help your career. Note: Many editors will not accept previously published material, including self-published material. Having a short story or essay published for free, may mean you’ll never be paid for it.

Only writers knows how much time, effort and emotional cost is involved in the stories we create, and yet, we keep writing….

Copyright © 2020 by J. Paul Cooper

You’re Not Wasting Your Time

So far this year I’ve paid to upgrade my blog to a website, and I’ve also paid to renew my membership with two writing organizations. I’ve had one short story published and anticipate one more being published by the end of the year. I won’t receive any money for the stories, but in a very real sense I will still receive payment, because every time my writing is published, it helps me establish my personal brand.

Here’s a question that you may be struggling with: If you’re not making a profit writing, does that mean you’re wasting your time and money? No, it means you’re investing your time and money in your passion.

Many people want to keep their passions as hobbies. Once they’re required to answer to deadlines, and feel pressure to make a profit, it loses it’s appeal and it’s no longer enjoyable. Perhaps you want to keep writing separate from your day job, because it helps to keep your life in balance.

Some of us, however, dream of creating a living from our passion. We find no satisfaction in going to the office, warehouse, or store where our creativity is of little value. We make no use of our ability to craft stories, while we generate quarterly reports, operate forklifts, and serve customers. It would be great to make the transition from part-time to full-time status as a writer, but if we can’t afford to leave those jobs, we’ll have accept that the opportunity to write will remain confined to our free time.

Whether your writing is a hobby, or you’re working towards becoming a full-time writer, one thing is certain; writing is part of who you are. If due to some unseen event you were unable to continue writing, it would be a great loss. It would also be a great loss for everyone else.

Think of a song that makes you feel alive every time you hear it, a movie that tears at your heart strings and tickles your funny bone, or a novel that you couldn’t put down until you finished it. In those experiences, you were sharing another person’s passion. Can you put a price on those experiences?

What will you share with the world today through your passion? There are poems, short stories, novels, essays and screenplays waiting to be written by you. Whether you’re a full-time or part-time writer, whether or not you’ll be paid for your work, you can still decide to write, and share your passion.

Copyright © 2020 by J. Paul Cooper