It took me a long time to get to the point where I could admit to myself I wanted to be a writer. There’s nothing prudent or practical about laboring for years to produce something that may never see the light of day. And if it does – see the light of day, that is – chances are it won’t bring in the boku bucks you’ve been hoping for. So to keep writing is, well, crazy.
I have trouble justifying my desire to write as a career. As a hobby? Sure, no problem. But a career is something different. A writing career requires persistence and sacrifice and all the self-doubt you’d expect and then some. In order to write in the face of all the odds – and the odd looks your friends and neighbors give you – you are going to have to give something up – probably a number of things. Going from writing as a hobby to writing as a career, even the early stages of one, requires a dramatic shift in how you view yourself and your work.
For me, I had to give myself permission to write. And until I did that, the words didn’t come. I would self-censor, telling myself it was wrong to dream, impractical to spend so much time on something where successes are invisible and so personal they cannot be shared. Even when I convinced myself it was ok to write, I had to fight for each word I’d scribble down in my notebook. I kept slogging. Like anything, acceptance takes time. But now that I have come to a place where I can sit down, pen in hand, and not feel guilty, the words often come faster than I can write down, and I can’t help but love every minute of it.