Let’s face it – although we wish it were otherwise, much of society looks skeptically at people who choose to pursue writing as a career. For many, the idea of writing for a living, and making good money doing so, is so far outside of their reality that they look down on anyone who wants to do exactly that. Can you say, “demotivating?”
But there are many reasons for this misguided attitude. Many people are conditioned by society to play it safe and pursue a seemingly safe career like a 9-5 office job. Also, their negative viewpoint can be a form of projection. As they are scared to pursue their dreams, they put down others who try to do the same.
Sadly, this criticism and belittlement can eventually rub off on us writers. We end up doubting ourselves. If everyone else feels skeptical about our chances of making it, shouldn’t we also feel that way? Is writing for a living even worth it? Wouldn’t it be better just to give up and pursue something else?
We’re here to reassure you that if writing for a living is something you’re passionate about, you shouldn’t give up on it. You need motivation as a writer, and this article will provide that dose of writing motivation. Read on to discover why we believe writing is one of the best careers you can pursue right now, as well as how to combat your doubts when they raise their ugly heads.
The world needs more writers
Don’t let anybody tell you that writing isn’t a beautiful and valuable thing the world needs more of. It is. Whether in the form of a useful self-help book that helps a person overcome a problem they’ve struggled with for a long time or an immersive fiction story that gives someone escapism from the stresses of their life, writing makes a real difference.
Sadly, not enough people choose to pursue writing. Due to the rise of independent publishing, there’s a wider variety of paths to writing than ever before. Types of books that would never have been published in the past can now reach a hungry audience with ease. The gatekeepers have now been taken out of the equation.
Want to know one of the deepest reasons the world needs more writers? It’s simple. Every writer has the chance of making a meaningful difference in people’s lives, not just now, but far into the future, even when they’re no longer on this Earth.
Surely that level of impact is special and something worth pursuing?
No career is safe
Another reason that people often look down on writing as a career choice is a perception that it’s unstable or doesn’t offer much opportunity. That’s not true for several reasons.
First, let’s consider the perception that there are any ‘safe’ careers out there. It may sound plausible. However, even the companies can and do go bust. What might seem like a safe bet now might look like anything but in five years.
Second, many careers are slowly being taken over by artificial intelligence. Even skilled careers such as medicine are said to be at risk of machines. But writing from personal experience, the unique path through life you’ve trodden, is something a machine isn’t capable of and never will be.
There have never been more opportunities for writers to succeed than there are now. Whether freelancing for the ever-expanding number of companies who need nonfiction content for their company website or forging out a fan base for yourself in the independent publishing world, there are chances to succeed wherever you look.
The next time someone tells you not to pursue writing because it isn’t a safe career, or that there are no avenues to success, feel free to remind them that there’s no such thing as a safe career and that writing has plenty of pathways to success.
You can make great money writing!
A common objection to writing as a career path is the perception that it’s low-paid. While that can be the case for some, it doesn’t have to be if you’re willing to work at it.
A more accurate way to explain this is that writing is often fairly low-paid at the start of your career. But it doesn’t stay that way for long. Once you have some solid experience under your belt, some connections, and positive feedback, you’ll gain access to far more lucrative opportunities.
There are so many well-paid forms of writing that you never need to feel limited. Copywriting can pay handsomely for even a single project. Technical writing is well-paid and in demand. And, if you’re willing to put the time in, write a series, and build an audience, even indie fiction authors are more than capable of pulling in over five figures a month after some time.
The above figures are simply averages. It’s not even taking into account the upper end of what’s possible. If one of your writing projects becomes a runaway success there’s no limit to how much you could earn. Few careers pay as much as what top writers earn.
If the financial side of writing is causing you to doubt yourself, it’s time to get out of your head and be practical. Determine exactly how much you want to make from writing. Then sit down and determine what type of writing will get you there, and what you need to do to reach that level.
Before long, you’ll see that making a good living is more achievable than you ever imagined.
How to overcome doubt
We’ve already explored some ways to overcome common forms of writing doubt. But doubt can come in many forms, so the more ways you can overcome it, the better. Here are some more common forms of writing doubt and how to beat them.
- If you find yourself doubting you have enough ability to succeed, remind yourself that writers not widely considered as particularly skilled have achieved huge success. Dan Brown (author of The DaVinci Code) and Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight) are often critically panned but have made millions.
- If you feel like your background somehow precludes you from being a writer, realize that the gatekeepers no longer exist unless you’re set on a traditionally published career, which you shouldn’t be. Diverse writers from every background imaginable are now finding serious success.
- If you feel you’re not ready to go all-in on writing, you don’t have to! You can start small as a side project alongside your day job. As you achieve more success, you can scale how much time you spend writing, eventually allowing it to become your main form of income.
So there you have it. Ultimately, you can’t stop people from doubting your decision to become a writer. That’s outside of your control and therefore not something to worry about.
What you can do, however, is choose to not allow their doubts to hold you back. Writing is something amazing and worthwhile. You owe it to yourself and the world to keep going.
And if you keep pursuing it, you can eventually make good money from it!