The life of a writer is a very interesting one, and when that life is combined into a career, things can get very interesting. Here are the five most important lessons I've learned from working for an online publication.
Lesson 1: Make Sure This is What You Want to Do
The biggest mistake some people make when going into any job, not just writing, is that they don't take time to sit and think about whether the decision is right for them. Before I started my job, I read about the company and looked up some of their articles to see if it was an organization I really wanted to be a part of. If you ever have second thoughts, don't do it. If you want to do it, you have to have your mind made up and possess the ability to be bold about it.
Lesson 2: You Aren't the Only Writer Around
The writing business is competitive, and if you're a perfectionist like me, that fact can be a hard pill to swallow. You have to understand that there are millions of people in the world, and there are at least a few thousand that have the same dream as you do. Not only that, but those same people are fighting for a chance in the spotlight just like you are too. At the end of the day, you have to have thick skin and be able to take rejection with grace and praise with humility.
Lesson 3: Be Prepared to Work
When I first started my job as a staff writer, I was under the assumption that I would be in this laid back atmosphere where I could just calmly write to my heart's content. By the time my first week of work was over, I realized that I had been living in a dream world! The world of writing, especially in magazines and newspapers, are fast-paced and wait for no one. I had to learn quick that I had to really stay on top of my game in order to keep up.
Lesson 4: People Will Discredit You
This lesson is one that tends to be the hardest for people. As a writer, people think that I just sit at a computer screen all day and make up stories in my head. Not true! Yes, writers write, but we do not sit around and daydream nonstop. We are very constructive people! Writers have to do research and read in order to compose their masterpieces. Sadly, many people do not respect it our craft. You just have to learn to be confident in yourself and keep it moving. Your happiness is all that matters, not theirs.
Lesson 5: Be Passionate
This lesson is the key to success! In all of your writing, whether you succeed or fail, take it all in and be positive about it. In the world of words, what you say and how you say it is always important. Whether you realize it or not, when you aren't passionate about something, your audience will be able to feel that in your work. There will be times where you will wonder if you made the right decision and you'll absolutely be sick at the thought of a pencil or keyboard; trust me, it happens to the best of us. But at the end of the day, as long as you try your best and put your all into your work, you will be successful Like they say, “If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.” Do what you love, and love what you do, 'nuff said!
If you're an aspiring writer and were looking for an honest opinion about how things would be, I hope I enlightened you a bit and helped build your confidence, or even made you rethink how you feel about your career choice. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!