There are a lot of exasperating posts like this. But I have come across the true path to being a ‘real’ writer. I know that is hard to believe. But it came to me in a dream, so it is true. Dreams never lie, you know. And I nailed every point on being a real writer, vs, those aspiring writers. They write but are not real yet… they are fictional. I mean, no, they are really real, but not really fully born into ‘real writer’. Like pre-writer… who writes. So you know by this logic, writing doesn’t make a writer. It is other things that make a writer.
So… I am going to lay down some profound wisdom here.
Write every day
Actually, every moment of every day until your fingers blister and bleed. Then put bandages on them and write with those infected stumps. Non-stop writing is the key to becoming a ‘real’ writer.
When you are not writing, which is actually non-stop, then you Must contemplate
Ponder. Contemplate. Completely space out while you are driving. Wait. No. Not that one. But literally pay no attention to reality… ponder your characters, your plot, that weird twist you make that may be Too weird.
You must read while not pondering and writing. I am sure when your fingers are bleeding from all that writing you can then fit in some good reading time.
I’m talking at least 10000 books a year at Least. Read in your sleep if you must, but read you must. Must mustly. Most mustly. (PS, not a rule. But Never make up words. It annoys people. I hate people like that. Using words in the wrongerest of ways)
Listen to everyone’s feedback on your work
And then ignore it whimsically. But then think about it while you are pondering. Then cry into some pudding for a bit. And then forget you ever heard anything negative about that misplaced damn comma. But remember to listen to all feedback.
‘Real’ writers do not write from pure inspiration. But by writing every day with blisters on their fingertips. Inspiration is for like the spark. And there is no fire from the spark. It is just hard blister inducing work to pull words out of that pudding brain. A fight like you will never experience before. Not even that time you had to go up all those damn stairs and realize you would have to go back down them. Worse than that.
It takes a lot of time to become a ‘real’ writer
Real writers, of course, live off their writing. So your side-job means you cannot be a real writer. It may take a few decades or four or twenty but one day, if you write constantly enough, you may make it to real writer status. Also maybe zombie writer status.
Write what you know
Never write about things you yourself have never experienced. Like all those damn fantasy writers making stuff up all the time. Wait. That is me. Damn it. Also… get your facts straight. I am talking at least a decade of research on your setting Alone. Let alone some random fact you use. I say pay for a fact checker. And then you will be a true journalist… I mean writer.
You Must have passion
Through all the bleeding, blisters, and being utterly oblivious to the world… you have the passion for writing. To the exclusion of every other passion you do… don’t do those. Passion must be ardently focused solely on writing.
You must write for yourself only
Not for the fame, the glory, or the massive amount of pennies. And I am talking hundreds of pennies here. So. A lot. Write for yourself and take joy from that alone. Want to make a living at it? Well… that happens by accident. This may mean some experimental books that should never see the light of day. Not saying I wrote some of those. Actually, yes, that is what I am saying and you will never know their brilliance because I burned them out of my brain for all eternity. Aside from the copies I saved on my computer, laptop, external drive, and a few storage sites. Other that that, they are Gone.
And the most important rule of being a real writer?
You are a writer.
Obviously, we do have a passion for it though or we wouldn’t do it. But passions can be as wide or as narrow as you like. And maybe no one reads what you write. Maybe only your family does. But you write and you are a writer. So carry on. These can all be valid points, but maybe not all of them for you. And maybe all of them for you.
The problem isn’t the notions I listed at all. It is this ‘aspiring’ vs ‘real writer’ that is the problem. Or ‘self-published’ vs ‘traditional’. So maybe you are passionate, write a bit every day, an avid reader, who contemplates strange worlds sometimes. And you write. And that makes you a writer. Success in this quest is getting that novel down and enjoying that sensation of satisfaction that comes before the editing. Success is not making billions. Or specific qualifications that make you Real opposed to Aspiring. None of us do this for the glory, the fame, or the money. In fact, fame rather intimidates me. Famous people are plagued by People. I like to keep my peopling to a minimal. Writing literally is the Main qualification for being an actual, really, real writer. All the rest is the similarities we have as writers. But you know not all of us make a living at it. Not all of us will. But we write, still.
So write on, my friends, write on. And maybe there will be that golden horizon where you can make a living on your writing. We all would love to make money at something we love so deeply. But feel confident. Know you are a writer. And the quest to attain publication may be long an arduous and, also, confusing as all hell it is a quest we often seek. To share our world with others.