There’s certainly been more in-depth, focused writings about this topic, but I wanted to offer my quick two cents on this before I get started with my actual work day. In a sense, this is helping clear my mind (kind of like what I do with Morning Pages) while simultaneously serving as a warmup for my hands.
I think a lot about what you “give up” to try to become a writer. A word that gets thrown around a lot by people in the field, or entertainment adjacent fields, is “sacrifice.” You “sacrifice” things/stuff/indescribables to become a writer/artist/performer.
The pros love saying it. “You have to sacrifice if you want to make it in this field.” Because there is no direct freeway leading you to the golden lands of opportunity, much like other careers with training, degrees, and certifications, a lot of this is luck. Just luck. Luck if you’ll make it. Luck if you can keep trying. Luck if you can even get started at all.
I guess I’ve been trying to become a professional author for, oh, 6 years now? Let’s say that. In that time I’ve queried dozens of agents, with two separate books, but I know other writers in my exact same position who have queried hundreds of agents with more books than I, yet we’re still in the same level of progression: Unsigned.
Meanwhile, someone else could write a book, their very first one, send it to an agent, again their first one, and get signed. It’s all chance. It’s all godsend. There’s no way to predict it.
So you keep going, you keep writing, you keep getting up at 6am to grab a large coffee, sneak upstairs so your boys don’t hear you, and sit at your desk in almost pitch black to write as much as you can before you have to start breakfast at 7:30am.
Where’s the sacrifice?
My boys are still asleep. We’ve been helping them get used to their new toddler beds by passing out with them at night. (Side note: It’s really nice to have a bed time, again, as I’ve been getting the best sleep of my life before Baby C comes and kicks it all over the floor.)
I still could be sleeping next to them, snuggling in the warm blankets to combat the cool, desert mornings. Instead I’m here, about to write a book there’s a chance no one will ever read.
You ever wondered what you give up to try to become an author? It’s like this.
Thanks for reading,