The Job That Doesn’t Exist | mishaburnett

Courage man! Just keep writing. Read what Anais Nin said about the subject. I think her words are far more elegant than my memory will paraphrase, however. In essence both these methods will “work.” The first, you write for others. Keep writing for them, and you will eventually find a market. The second, which dear Anais, thought better to follow herself, just write. Write for yourself. Keep writing. Publish yourself. Eventually people will come to you. But you must love to write more than anything else. By the time they come to you, you may not need them anymore, but still they will be welcome. The sound of opening doors is deafening. Anais wrote for decades. before any but a few knew of her work. Decades. Not years.

The first in your series is worthy of reading. You already have more readers than Anais had in so short a time. We are so impatient in this time and age.

I’ve often wondered why I have become so patient the older I have grown–the longer I have lived.  It seems counterintuitive, does it not? I have less time to live, but I feel like I have more than I have ever had. When I was 20 I wrote some beautiful things. Music as well as poetry. But I could never have kept a pledge to write a least a sonnet each day. It seems like nothing to me. I don’t deceive myself that this is any great event. However, I daresay, that when I have written thousands (God, or the fates, willing) I will have become a curiosity to some. If I were to quit now, I might never be noticed much–and rightly so, because there would be, in essence, nothing to notice.

I think, perhaps, you are yet too young to understand what I’m telling you, but whether you do or not, I know that if you keep writing, they will come. Writers are an emotional lot. one of the tactics that brick and mortar publishers use to sort them out is rejection. They want to know that if they sign someone he will actually keep writing, and go on signings, and whatever else is required. Steven King wrote (and self published) in grade school. He couldn’t stop writing. He did nothing but write and submit. He put his rejection letters on a spike and it grew to a great hight–several feet of onionskin thin rejection slips–before he earned a dime other than what he had earned in grade school selling scary stories for lunch money. [and some crazy-eyed, marxist teacher was outraged about it and made him pay it all back–without reclaiming any of his intellectual property I might add!] He as never counted them, but he did measure them in feet. But regardless of how he felt, he never stopped writing.

Now he is a millionaire. You have the ability, certainly, but you must ultimately decide if you have the do what SK did, if you do, particularly with that degree of will, I have no doubt you will succeed. If you do not–then, as they say: Luck, be a lady.  And I hear she is very unreliable…

No one quits his day-job though. A clever writer finds one wherein he can write. I have written for hours working in a toll booth in an all night parking lot, years ago. I was not trying to be a professional writer, true, but if I had been, it would have been the right job for that ambition. But that’s not why I took the job. I took it because I just can’t stop writing. So I found a job that let me do it. Someone was willing to pay me to sit there and write. And take a few coins. And hand out tickets every half hour or so.

via The Job That Doesn’t Exist | mishaburnett.

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