I had lunch the other day with my friend the working writer. Among the many things he’s always reliable for is honest feedback.
After updating each other on our latest project developments, I off-handedly quipped “I hope I’m a real writer someday.”
“You are a real writer,” he responded. He’s read some of my stuff, and doesn’t hesitate to give praise or suggest changes where applicable.
“Okay,” I said. “I hope I’m a paid writer someday.”
Which is really what it all boils down to – making a living at this.
This is not to say I see this as easy money (which it definitely isn’t), or won’t be happy until I make a million-dollar sale (although I wouldn’t complain if that actually did happen).
I’ll assume you’re in a similar situation and just really enjoy writing, hoping somebody will like your stuff enough that they want to buy it, or be interested in having you write (or rewrite) something for them, and being able to do it on a steady ongoing basis.
But it’s not enough to sit around and dream about it. Like our protagonists, we have to be the ones who make things happen.
Are you being active in your pursuit of a writing career? Are you constantly striving to make your script better? Are you a positive and supportive member of the writing community?
This is a massive undertaking, not to be taken lightly. It’s hard work, pure and simple.
My aforementioned friend, the working writer, spent twenty years getting to this point. And now every time we reconnect, he tells me about his latest assignment or some potential new ones. He put together a short he’s considering entering in some festivals, and to top it all off, he’ll be on set for a feature he wrote that begins production in a few months.
He’s not going after the big paycheck stuff – just solid, steady work.
Not everybody can write the box office blockbuster or mega-hit TV show, which is fine. There’s a ton of other stuff out there that requires solid writing skills and a dedicated work ethic.
As much I like the idea of the former, I’d be perfectly happy being the guy who gets to keep working on the latter.
-This is my 500th post. To paraphrase the genius of Monty Python, if you’ve enjoyed this blog half as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it, then I’ve enjoyed twice as much.