By Billie Sue Mosiman
Unlike some professions, writing is for a lifetime. Unless an author has brain impairment or disease, she can write until the very last day. If you're a doctor or a fireman, a politician or a park ranger, there are going to be finite years for employment. It's rare even a doctor might work into his seventies or eighties, but a writer certainly can.
What this has to do for your future as a writer is that you should think of it as a lifetime pursuit and not one where if you don't make it for a while, it's all over. If your memory and creativity remains, so can the writing. Young writers are all in a rush to “make it.” I know I was. It's an occupational hazard.
I remember it took eight years of submissions and three agents before I sold my first novel. I thought at the time it was forever. It really wasn't. I had a whole lifetime ahead of me to do my work and eight years of practice and learning was really nothing. It wasn't any more time than it takes to become any other professional. Once I got rolling, I was on a rocket ride.
Once your work is accredited and verified as being publishable, nothing can really stop you but yourself. If you grow lazy or slow, if you over reach and fail, or if you become a prima donna people don't like to work with, then you're sabotaging your own career. Yet if you see the road ahead as a long string of years, you can see what you must do is work hard and grow.
I've seen young novelists burst on the scene and flame out. I've seen young writers grow so bitter and evil, it filters into their work and makes it too ugly to be readable. I've seen young authors overvalue their accomplishments and walk around as if the world belongs to them, only to be brought to earth with a few hard knocks.
As a working writer who has been publishing for thirty years my advice looking back is to think of this as not just a job, not just a hobby, but a way of life. A life involved with the imagination and creation. Whether that works out as well as you think really isn't the point. If you're giving it all you've got, you're not in a crazy rush where you put out unremarkable work, and you realize you've signed on for the long haul—all the way to the end—then the joy of being writer, even into old age, can reward you in ways no other profession on earth can compare.
Billie Sue Mosiman Bio:
Billie Sue is an Edgar and Stoker Nominated author of more than 50 e-books. She’s had 13 novels published with New York major publishers and recently published BANISHED. Her book of short stories is releasing soon in 2013, SINISTER-Tales of Dread, and her new suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER, to follow.
Billie Sue is the author of at least 150 published short stories that were in various magazines and anthologies. Her latest stories will be in BETTER WEIRD edited by Paul F. Olson from Cemetery Dance, a tribute anthology to David Silva, a story in the anthology ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT edited by Annetta Ribken, and another story in William Cook’s FRESH FEAR. She’s an active member of Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers.
Blog: The Life of a Peculiar Writer
You can find all of Billie’s works on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo.