A Letter to Will-Be Writers


Not Could-Be, not Hopefully, but Will-Be.

This is the mindset you need to have if you want to make it happen. It sounds incredibly easy, and I’m right there with you, sitting at the computer, looking at those words and thinking, “Elli, that’s easier said than done.”

If you’re lucky, you’re a student with high ambitions and getting a head start on that writing dream. But perhaps you’re that blue-collar worker with a day job, just trying to make ends meet. You want to be an author, and make the hobby you love a career worth waking up to. Maybe you work too many hours, and spend too many more in front of an empty page pouring yourself into a story that may or may not ever see the light of day.

But you want it to. You want to see your work in print, with a cover that illustrates the eyes of your character staring back at you. Your hands long to feel it in your palms, and your heart yearns to be able to own the title of “Author”. When you talk to people and they ask what you’re doing, you say with your head slightly bowed, “I’m writing a book” knowing that most people are going to roll their eyes and think, “sure”. No one takes a no-name writer seriously. It isn’t real until it’s published. They think it’s just a silly dream. All the while, you’re working a job that you aren’t necessarily proud of, wondering if you’re wasting your time.

Get that out of your head. Many of today’s best-selling authors started right where you are now. They’re everyday people, who worked everyday jobs. JK Rowling was a teacher. George Saunders worked at a slaughterhouse, and a convenience store. Robert Frost was a newspaper boy. Jack London was an Oyster Pirate (Okay, so maybe most of us aren’t stealing oysters and reselling them, but you get the point).

It comes down to this: you’re not a failure. If you’re daring to write and publish a book, you’re braver than most people. And by keeping that day job, you’re on the right track. It’s certainly a lot harder to balance a job and build a career at the same time, but you do what it takes to make things happen. Keep at it and you’ll have that day when you can walk into work and say, “Here’s my two weeks notice.”

But right now you need to believe in yourself, and believe in your work. Keep writing, and don’t let anyone’s doubts become your own.

Only you can make your dreams reality.

-Elli

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5 thoughts on “A Letter to Will-Be Writers

  1. Stephanie Meyer… ugh. This fact makes me cry inside.

    Great article, friend. I’m thankful that you and I are starting out so young. Some of my favorite authors didn’t know they wanted to eve write until they were in their late 30’s or 40’s.

  2. I will probably fall into it the older i get. the distractions are too much for me! hopefully I will learn what you guys have before im too old!

    • I agree. More often than not, we underestimate our own self-worth, overshadowed by the belief that we have to earn it. In reality every single one of us is worth and worthy of more than we believe. And honestly, that’s part of why I wrote this.

      We all yearn for purpose, and have dreams we wish to accomplish. I wrote this letter as much to myself as for others because too often we let other people’s opinions deter us from our own aspirations. Sometimes all it takes is one remark. One person’s perspective (IE: “until you’re published, you aren’t a real writer”) can sway our opinion of ourselves, and cause us to give up on things worthy of our pursuit.

      I don’t ever want to be convinced that I’m not good enough, or that I can’t fulfill my dreams, and I don’t think anyone should. So I wrote a letter for encouragement. 🙂

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