Wanna be a writer?

The journey to becoming a full-time writer is among the most painful, difficult career paths ever, I believe, topped only, perhaps, by careers in other arts, such as visual arts, acting or making music.

Want to be a doctor? Sure it’s hard. You go to school for almost forever, but when you come out people say “You’re a doctor.”

Want to be an electrician or a plumber? You take some courses, work as an apprentice, often put in long hours, but eventually you’re working at your craft full-time, wiring or setting toilets. The guy next to you in the bar introduces you as “my friend, the plumber,” and people nod in recognition and appreciation.

But, if you want to be a writer, you can take all the courses in the world, you can write a gazillion corporate memos and stories for a company intranet, but still people who aren’t writers question the style guidelines you follow and they haggle over semantics.

Family members either don’t understand what you do or ask, “When are you going to get a real job?”

Just like Rodney Dangerfield, writers “get no respect.”

It helps to know that you’re not the first to wrestle with letters, fight for the right words, and work your way through other careers, knowing every step of the way that this career is the one for you and someday you’re going to do it.

I’ll share some of the resources I’ve found helpful, tales of writers who’ve motivated me, and steps and tips that helped me on this journey.

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    © Ann Tracy Mueller 2012

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