Where will you be in three years? That’s something I asked myself at 15, and the answer was, “Attending university and trying to get published.”
Well, 15-year-old me, you aren’t trying to get published, you are published.
Everyone tries to be successful at what they love. I love to write. From a journal as a child, to teeny bopper novels, to now with a successful blog and freelance jobs. And if it weren’t for me continuing to write and write and write, none of it would have happened. The success I have received would be nothing without drive, so that is my advice to you.
Find your drive.
Many of you are entering the writing world, or are veterans. And you know how terrifying a blank page can be. It’s too easy to succumb to procrastination for your next writing expedition, but to succeed you must push past that white expanse. Write that terrible first draft, let it be so bad that you cringe at the absolute thought of it. My first novel was 56,000 words written in six months when I was 14. I was so proud that I’d written this book that I was convinced was the next best seller. Five years later, I read over that “masterpiece” and see how much I’ve grown in my writing ability, and plot development. Yes, I wrote something I would now be ashamed to publish, but the fact that I wrote something so extensive, that I overcame that blank page, that speaks volumes. And it started my path to writing.
From that awful first novel, I continued to write. More novels, starting a blog, writing for publications for free, etc. I never stopped. Even when university applications took over my life, and my dog passed on, and I found struggles in my social circle, writing was a solace. It was something I couldn’t give up. Because writing is about passion, about wanting to expand your vocabulary and style and voice. Just because personal things are going on doesn’t mean that you should put your passion on the backburner. That’s just setting up for a downfall.
To reach success, which to everyone means something else, it’s about having strategy. For people wanting to be successful journalists, find publications like Huffington Post that will publish your articles. It’s a great way to find exposure. For people wanting to be novelists, try Wattpad or self-publishing to show your work to readers and get feedback. Plus, you can tell people you’re published! For people wanting to write whatever, just write. Always. Show it to people, send it to editors, do whatever you want that shares it with people so you can get feedback. Success is about getting feedback, learning from it, and improving what you produce.
I write this post in hopes that those who are thinking about making writing their life choice realize that they don’t have to wait. The time is now, as cliché as it sounds. You don’t have to wait until after university or when you suddenly receive your “big break.” There is something that you can do right at this moment to get you to your success in only a few short years. Don’t sit around and think, “I wish I could do this now instead of later.”
Think, “In three years, I’m going to have it all.”