First, if writing were easy, everyone would do it. Though anyone who knows how to read can write, few people can write well. That’s what being a writer is: exercising our ability to string words together with excellence.
As with any worthwhile endeavor, it takes time to develop skill as a writer. As writers, we’re always learning and always growing. Each piece we write has the potential to be better than the piece before it. And each year our ability can surpass last year. Writing is a journey of discovery that lasts a lifetime.
Second, if you have a passion to write, then pursue it with full-out abandon. Don’t dismiss writing for a more profitable pursuit. If you do, you’ll always regret it. But that doesn’t mean being a full-time writer. Most authors write and do something else. They may have a full-time job and write on the side. Or they may focus on writing but have a “side hustle” or two to help pay the bills.
Writing is art, and it is science. Embrace both. Pursue both. Merge both to produce words that sing or words that sell. What joy we realize as we learn to write like that.
Third, writing is a smart way to avoid job obsolescence. In the ever-evolving job market—which changes faster every year—the career most people start with is seldom the career they end with. Writing, along with a few other skills, sidesteps the threat of obsolescence. Yes, the form of our publication will change—it already has and will continue to do so—but the skill to arrange the underlying words will persist.
People who have mastered the art of writing will always have something to do—even if we can’t now imagine what that might look like.
Fourth, writing embraces a new way to earn a living. As forty-hour-a-week jobs become less available and less desirable, twenty-first-century workers piece together a variety of pursuits to produce income, achieve better work-life balance, and find vocational fulfillment.
This approach includes freelancing, contract work, and subcontracting, with many writers leading the charge in these areas. With this mindset to guide us, today’s writers can forge ahead to produce a life with variety, purpose, and fulfillment. And you can join them in this quest.
How amazing is that?
Yes, without a doubt, pursuing a career in writing is worth the effort.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.