Writing Advice from Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary has a series of posts, spread over a couple of years, that she has titled “Debut Author Lessons“. Her latest entry to that series occurred yesterday, Writing is no Longer a Hobby.

I’m sharing this, as much for myself to come back to later, as for any of my SHU or VP followers (among other writerly-bent readers) that may not regularly visit Mary’s blog. (She’s awesome, you should, just saying.)

Most of my class at SHU are drawing close to or passing the half-way point of our thesis novels. Several of the VP 16 contingient, likewise, (I feel confident enough to say) are in various stages of seeking publication. Many of us, to some extent, see ourselves as writers, as professionals, with plans to continue to tell (and sell) stories.

With that in mind, her post yesterday was another timely reminder that coincides with many of my other thoughts on writing lately.

She offers some coping strategies that are worth looking at (especially for anyone in any form of serious committed relationship), but the core of the message is this:

You are writers. If you want a career in this, then all of the advice in the world can boil down to “don’t treat writing like a hobby.”

If you have a full time job, in addition to being a writer, then you have to deal with balancing things in the same way that anyone else who works two jobs does. If you feel like you are still in the learning phase of your career, then it’s no different from someone who is going to school part time and working a full-time job. Either way, writing is not a hobby.

The path you will follow will vary based on the pieces of your life, but the place you should start from is that writing is your job.

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  1. #1 by Camille Griep on March 1, 2013 - 14:45

    Good advice. And so true considering all the folks who continue to ask for the magical equation for getting published. First we write a lot, then we work our tails off to edit and place these pieces. It’s pretty much a direct correlation between time/effort and success (in my experience). But it’s easy to see it as magic instead of the job that it is. Hope your classes are going well.

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