Right now, especially if you’re a young writer, writing might seem like a hobby you do from time to time but wouldn’t dream of making a super high priority in your life. And yet, you want to write. You want to be published. You want to walk into Barnes & Noble and see the shiny hardback copy of your book on the shelf.
That was me as a young teen. I loved writing. I planned to be a writer. And yet, I wasn’t taking it seriously. I wasn’t making time for it, and I wasn’t working towards consistency, and I wasn’t rearranging my schedule to make room for writing. It wasn’t until a big dance competition threatened to interfere with NaNoWriMo that I realized something needed to change. If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to act like a writer, and that meant taking it seriously.
See, the thing about writing is it’s something you need to work on, just like any athlete needs to work on their sport, or any scientist needs to work on their research. If you’re not making time for it, if you’re not treating it like it’s something that is going to be a part of your life, then it simply won’t be a part of your life.
This isn’t to discourage you. I’m not saying if you can’t write for four hours every day and publish your first novel by fifteen then you’ve failed. No, no, I don’t mean that at all. I just want to emphasize the importance of mindset and practice.
If you don’t believe in your writing enough to make it a higher priority, are you going to be able to do what it takes to see your shiny hardback book on the Barnes & Noble shelf? If you don’t take the time to practice the writing craft, will you have the expertise and experience to produce that shiny hardback book in the first place?
It’s hard to take writing seriously when you can’t see immediate fruits from it. But the thing is, many writers had been writing for years and years before they were published, and most started relatively young! Publishing a bestselling book is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time and practice and effort, and it’s going to take mental grit and determination as well.
I encourage you to take writing seriously if you have a goal of becoming a published author. I feel like there are a plethora of discouragements towards budding authors.
You can’t make money off of writing!
You can’t chose writing as a career!
Do you want to be a starving artist?
You need a real job!
Words like those are common and discouraging. But let me be the encourager. Let me tell you that I believe in writing and in you as a writer. The world will never fill up on impactful books with powerful messages. There’s always a different way to explain things. There’s always a different way to paint that objective picture of truth and goodness. The truth and goodness may remain the same throughout all these years, but they’ll never grow old, and I’ll never get tired of hearing them.