As far as free advice from someone who gets paid to write, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot better than what you’ll find in this Cristian Mihai weblog post. There’s actually two writers offering advice here (it starts off with a short video of Chuck Lorre, writer and producer of television’s The Big Bang Theory, amongst others.) Both messages are good ones for anyone considering a career in writing, or even if you just know someone who is.
I’m an ardent believer in the fact that all great writing comes from a place of truth, from a place well hidden inside our soul. I believe that those elements that are based on our own experiences, faults, and beliefs give substance to a story. I can see many writers who are reluctant about that. I can also understand why. It’s the most difficult thing to do. Once you start writing about yourself, in one way or another, you realize how difficult it really is.Being a writer is tough. It’s probably one of the most difficult jobs on the Planet. Because it’s the one job where, no matter how successful you become, you always have to start with a blank page. A page that doesn’t know and neither cares who you are. And that is frightening. Also, if you’re a real writer, you’ll never get the feeling that you’re good. You’ll still feel like writing shitty drafts, there will always be plenty of room for doubt.
Being a writer also means that to some people you might be the best writer ever and to some you’ll be the worst. Art is subjective; you should get used to criticism if you want to make it.
Being a writer is also about PERSEVERANCE. You have to write and write and write. The world excepts nothing less than this kind of commitment from a writer. It’s a world of small steps – so small that at times you’ll feel like standing still. It’s also a world where shortcuts are short lived.
And, in the end, the world of a writer is a world where all odds are against you. Statistically, you’ll never earn enough to make a living out of writing alone.
Mihai is a talented writer…and to his credit, he’s self-published several of his own books–which, if you read his account on that process, is not for the faint-hearted or impatient.
I don’t completely agree with everything he says…but then, I don’t completely agree with what anyone says. For example, I don’t believe writing has to involve pain, that it has to be painful to sit down and write (maybe you need a different chair?) Seriously though, perhaps it’s different for me because I’ve already had some personal anguish over years spent not writing, so that now I genuinely look forward to it.
Regardless, I’m in the process of exploring Cristian Mihai’s writing. I’m enjoying it, and I hope you will as well.