(segments of this have been left as comments on the net, appear in my bio, and have flown about on Twitter. It is now posted in it’s entirety)
These days, the Internet is filled with easily provoked, neophyte writers. They can be a querulous pack of writing prima-donnas. It seems that entitlement, haughtiness, and self-delusion has become a rampant disease. It affects more than just novice authors: the American Idol auditions are filled with neurosis and self-importance or a students belief in the ‘collegiate experience’ being the beginning of merited wealth and prestige--are symptomatic examples of this spreading social malady.
I have been writing since early childhood, but last year, I decided to follow my dream of being a full-time writer: I write as my passion and not with anticipation of becoming a best-selling author. I believe you should write for the joy of the art itself, while working towards becoming financially sustainable by virtue of your perseverance. I will infinitely write for myself, and for the people who enjoy reading my words; the act of writing is not concomitant of profitability or popularity, and it will never be conditional. Writing is a significant facet in the lineaments that define me.
The decision to become a full-time writer was sparked by two monumental events in my life: the birth of my daughter, and the death of my father. My daughter--simply put--is pure inspiration; she is my bantam muse. My father died alone. I never knew him and did not know his whereabouts. He was indigent, and a failure--he never did anything with his life--that realism opened my eyes. I decided that instead of making excuses and working string after string of abusive, dead-end jobs; I would actively follow my dreams. The pitiful tragedy of his death became my moment of affirmation.
When I declared to myself that I would become a 'professional writer', it was for the love of the craft; not for any expectant payoff. You do have to be realistic: it is not glamorous; it does not pay well (there are a few recent exceptions in the publishing world), and it requires time, travail, and tenacity. My expectation has always been 7 years before I saw even a mote of recognition. Anything that comes before this time or beyond meager earnings, is a fortunate reward. It is an honor to succeed as an author, a by-product of work and practiced skill: never an inalienable right.
Writing grants me escape; a peaceful place for a weary mind. I prefer to walk the halls of my own imagining rather than the dark alleyways of my past. My absolution is found in writing.
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