You Need to Love the Process

Microsoft Clip Art
Long term, you can't write just for the check.

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, not the end.”

-Ursula K. LeGuin

How do you choose your writing projects?  Do you gravitate towards things that interest you or simply towards things that will bring a check?  I’m asking, because if your focus is the latter, it will show and it will not sustain you in your creative pursuits.

What proof do I have?  Nothing scientific.

But I have talked to a lot of writers over the past twenty years.  And the ones who write to cash in on the trends or to make a quick buck, don’t last.   How do I tell who these writers are?  They usually let me know themselves.  They are the adult writers trying to cash in on recent enthusiasm for Twilight and Harry Potter.  They can’t stand kids.  They didn’t like Twilight or Harry Potter, but they want the money.  Or they are the people who jump into writing because they have an idea that fits a trend.  They don’t like to read.  They don’t enjoy writing.  Again, they want that money.

Who are the ones who last?  They are the ones who have a story they are just itching to tell.  They have a character who won’t give them any peace.  They love to read.  They are constantly jotting in a notebook or into some electronic device or another.

Sure, the latter sometimes get discouraged.  And the former sometimes make a sale.

But I’ve seen a lot more sales come from writers who fall into the second group.  Why?  I can’t help but believe it is because they love what they do.  They are the ones who put in the necessary time and energy to improve their craft and succeed.

Find something to love about writing.  About your writing.  About the writing of others.  If you can pull this off, I’ll be seeing your work in print.  I’m sure of it.


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