Writing Tip Wednesday: On Back-Up Plans.

I recently went to a blogger event where I got to meet YA author Laini Taylor. I absolutely love Laini Taylor, she is one of the best writers I have read. During question time, someone asked her what advice she would give to aspiring authors, and I was blown away by her answer.

I didn’t write it down, and now I’m wishing I did, but basically she said not to have a back up plan, that if you want to be a writer, be a writer.

I have never heard a writer give this advice before, it was brilliant. Of course, your practical parents will most likely be very persistent about you having a back up plan, which is understandable since they care and worry about you. But I have to agree with Laini.

Now she is no way suggesting that you shouldn’t work, you need to be able to support yourself while you are waiting for your writing career to take off, but she was suggesting that if you want to be a writer, don’t start another career. Why? Because that other career will take over and you will find yourself living that life instead of the one you want.

The blogger night was for YA bloggers, and a lot of them were young, so that’s good advice for them, but you might already be in that other career, living your black up plan and it’s not realistic for you to leave your job and be a writer. But if you want to be a writer and you are in this situation, write. If you are truly passionate about something than you will do it, no matter what. So if being a writer is something you seriously want to do, you have to write.

I think writers would benefit immensely if more people had the courage to tell others to go for their dream, especially if they are young and deciding their future. Laini pointed out that if writing doesn’t end up working for you, then you can go for the back up plan.

Why making writing a second choice just because it’s risky?
Dare to live your dream, I say.

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16 thoughts on “Writing Tip Wednesday: On Back-Up Plans.

    1. True. And she wasn’t implying not to be unrealistic about it, but to put your energy into writing instead of putting your energy into studying to becoming something else when you’d rather just be a writer.

  1. I absolutely love this advice! And I am kind of currently living it, haha. I have no idea what kind of career I have if writing doesn’t work out for me, so all I can say is that writing better work out for me 😄

    I think writing is one of those things that requires 100% of you. You cannot commit halfway. It has to be the one true passion in your life, and I think Laini got that across with this advice.

    I wish I could have attended this event! Maybe next time 🙂

    1. I agree, you have to be passionate. Why else would you even do it? It’s hard being a writer, not just working on your novel but all the rejection and waiting. It does take a lot out of you.

      It would have been nice if you could have gone. Did you know Laini is going to Queensland, this weekend I think?

  2. I think that is good advice. I feel like going into a career that could either pause for writing or help with writing (like something in the publishing industry or editing or creativeness-ing) would be helpful too. But SO COOL you got to meet Laini Taylor!! I would love to meet her eventually. ;)) Not this time, but maybe another, eh?! 😄

  3. I’m really glad you wrote this post, Rochelle, and the event sounds like it would have been so, so interesting!
    It leaves me unsure, though, because I think I may, in some ways, be preparing to do my back up. Luckily it’s something I really enjoy doing, so I’m not doing something I don’t love, but it made me think of that- still, so long as I’m doing it and keep loving it, and keep doing and loving writing, I’m happy.

    1. The event was very interesting, and I’ll be writing a wrap up post soon.
      It is certainly about balance. If you are doing something you love as well as keeping up with your writing and working toward your goal that’s fine.
      I think she was giving permission for those of us who only want to be writers and are unhappy doing anything else to focus on our writing.
      When I left school I purposely went into retail because I wanted to be a writer and didn’t want to study for a career.
      You have to go with whatever makes you happy, whether that be working a job and focusing on your writing, or balancing a career and writing. Just don’t forget to keep striving for your dreams.

  4. Such a wonderful article Rochelle. Like yourself this piece of advice struck me too and has stayed with me all week long. It’s even slightly made me reevaluate my short term future plans 🙂 (In a good way).

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