Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Samantha Gray. Please read more about Samantha in the bio footer.
As you know, writing isn’t a vocation for the faint of heart. Writing requires tremendous mental acrobatics and emotional strain, not to mention superhuman discipline and focus.
A simple page of well written prose (or poetry or journalism or analysis) could have very well taken the author days to craft, even though it takes a reader a few moments to read. Sometimes it feels like it takes an age and a day to write a decent paragraph or a thoughtful sentence.
Despite the demands of the job, you keep writing. For that I congratulate you and encourage you to continue your craft for as long as you can.
We live in an age where new content is churned out at incalculable speed. Take blogging, for one example. An event occurs—some remarkable gaff on a political campaign or the release of a revolutionary piece of technology—and immediately thousands of bloggers and journalists endeavor to write about it, each one jostling to put their own profound spin on it.
More books are published in a month than you could ever hope to read in your entire life, such is the rate of writing produced by authors new and established. More writers exist now than ever before, making it that much harder to make a career out of the craft.
I think the influx of writers in the digital age is something to be celebrated. No longer is the title of “writer” reserved for scholars with a PhD in Literature, or for those select few journalists known for their work at major publications. The fact that so many people want to become writers reassures me that writing is anything but a dying art—though old-fashioned types might try to convince you otherwise with the decline of book sales and independent newspapers.
No, writing has become a less intimidating vocation for those brave enough to try it. It’s been (thankfully) humanized through the successes of countless authors who have risen to prominence despite lacking a stereotypical background of a writer. College writing courses can help a great deal, but they don’t make the writer. Hard work, imagination, and dedication are the true strengths of a great writer.
You probably approached writing much the same way as I did. A perpetual bookworm, you probably approached writing with apprehension and trepidation, doubtful that you could ever write anything worthy of reading. But you kept at it, whatever you chose as your medium.
Maybe you started out blogging about current events, maybe you kept your own journal, or maybe you even tackled a novel from the start. You continued to face the blank page, determined to fill it with what was on your mind. You wrote your stories, and in doing so you took the chance that someone would read them.
I’m so glad you did. Keep up the good work, and never stop writing.