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.