I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 13, and now 14 years later I still want to write 🙂 I’m in this for life!
I recently came across this article about the realistic timeframe of what writers/authors/artists should expect in regards to becoming a full-time and/or self-sufficient in their craft. Ten years (that’s the answer), it seems both a long time, but kind of a realistic one to me. But ten years from what starting point? I had the desire to become a writer at the age of 13, but went to uni to do the right course at the age of 20. I didn’t self publish my first book until 2015, when I was 25.
Maybe it’s when I started to write a lot, which would have been from the age of 20 onwards as I had to write assignments. I still remember the compliment I got from one of my teachers in my last year of undergrad, in which she said that I had improved a lot since I began. One of the benefits of going to a smaller university 🙂
Will I become decent at the age of 30? Or maybe I’ll have to wait until later? But how long? When I think about the future I prove to myself that I do not have much long-term foresight for myself. Apart from writing and having a job to support myself, it’s seemingly pretty blank. But I suppose one of the benefits of that is that I’ll be quite flexible in later life.
I came upon Ryan Boudinot’s article ‘Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One‘ after following a series of links. I read about the criticism he received before I actually read it. So I was biased from the beginning. People were going on about how he had to be a cruel person to write what he did, but after I read it I didn’t agree with them.
I found that the article really spoke to me. It was a dose of realism for people, who perhaps had been ignorant of what to expect when it came to the world of writing. I remember in my own creative writing course at USC (Australia) this question was posed many times. How does a person become a creative writer? Well Boudinot answers it. You’re either born with the talent for it or not. Some people are creative in terms of words and stories, others are not. A few will be masters of it, most will either be average or give up altogether.
He states that people who are serious about writing decide early on in their lives if it’s worth pursuing or not. I wanted to write stories since I was 13 and had dabbled in it since around 11/12. And people who complain about not having the time to write are simply not creating or finding it. That is their problem.
Also, the better you are as a writer the more people will read/like you. It’s true. Furthermore once you give up insecurity of how people will look at you and your work, you will create some of your best work. Complete freedom from others gives you complete freedom to write. Which follows this next point. The old publishing model is dying and it is up to individual people to give life to their works. Don’t rely on others to carry you.