Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Be A Writer

We can all spout out the reasons we write. Using our talents for God. Because we have an insane love of story. Because you can't NOT write. The list is, I'm sure, endless.

But this writing life isn't always pretty, so I thought it'd be fun to name some reasons NOT to be a writer. 

The money is crap. A very large majority of authors are nodding emphatically. Now, what we WON'T tell you is that we still have little dream that we've stuffed away in a secret place that we don't mention to most people.... that dream of a Castle-like paycheck. But yeah.

A lot of people will tell you that your talent is crap. Critique groups, contests, agents, editors and then finally, readers. And getting it from readers is the worst. That 1 star review from a person who hates your book and doesn't understand how it ever got published... it isn't for the faint of heart.

Sleep is never guaranteed. Characters tend to talk at many different times, sometimes super early in the morning and for others, until wee hours of the morning. If losing sleep is an issue, writing might not be for you!

The impatient need not apply. A career as a writer has a LOT of "wait" time built in. Waiting for emails from agents and editors, waiting for that contract, many times for years and years. Even an indie author has some essense of waiting-- waiting for edits, waiting for a book to appear online, waiting on cover art, waiting for sales to gain traction. If you like things NOW and aren't willing to bend on that... you might want to pick a different job! (or get ready to learn some patience!!)

A sign of someone who SHOULD be a writer is one who reads a list like this and instead of getting discouraged, smiles at the challenge to overcome. Who says, "I know all that" and continues on the journey anyway.

Early on in my writing journey, all of these truths were glaring and the forewarning from other writers was loud and clear.

But I'm so thankful for those warnings. Because they made me work that much harder, because a sure fire way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't.

Do you have any "reasons not to be a writer" to add to my list? Do you get discouraged when you think about the reality?

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, A Side of Faith and A Side of Hope. She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at She is represented by Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary.


Sandra Stiles said...

I remember after writing my first book and sending it out, we sat in our back to school meeting. We went around the room with the instruction to say what our biggest dream was and what we were thankful for over the summer. Everyone was saying they'd love to go on a trip here or a cruise there until they got to me. I said my biggest dream was to become a published author and I was thankful for the three rejection letters I had received that week. My friend next to me said loudly, "You're halfway there, we can tell you're a writer because you are thankful for rejection letters." She too was a writer and understood. Most people couldn't understand how I could be thankful for that. That is why they don't write.

Jill Weatherholt said...

I love this list, Krista. I'm ready for the challenge! I'm fortunate to have a day job with the flexibility to go into the office very early in the morning. Later in the day, I have time to write. Not depending on writing income to pay the mortgage keeps the joy for writing in my heart.

kaybee said...

You need to be really tough to stick this out. And nothing is guaranteed, even for "established" authors. Lines go under, editors move, agents die. We have many decks stacked against us. My husband is an ordained elder in our denomination and has served as a pastor, and it's the same in the ministry. You get knocked down for no EARTHLY reason. Krista, one of the reasons I keep going is because I know Satan would love to have me quit. Lately, when I've been reading some of my favorite inspirational authors (Coble! Wingate! Logan Herne!) I've wondered what would have happened if they had given up. Fortunately, we'll never know
Kathy Bailey
Hanging in there in New Hampshire

Julia M. Reffner said...

Great post! My biggest detractor I think is the lie that I don't have enough time to get it perfect, so why bother? That probably holds me back more than anything else.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am ready for the challenge. Though cloudy days, cranky kids, flat tires, and storms come, I want to weather the storm and push forward to The End. :)

Krista Phillips said...

Sandra! Love that!!! Being a published author had always been my dream too!!!

Krista Phillips said...

Jill, yes the stress of the financial part of writing is a tough one. I've always worked as well until recent years, and am HOPING to use my writing income as a "part-time" job level, but even that is really tough and stressful!!!

Krista Phillips said...

Kathy, super true! Following God's leading no matter what is the BEST!

Krista Phillips said...

Julia--- the time thing is hard... cause a lot of the time I think it IS the truth. But if we always waited until we had "time" for stuff, we'd never have kids, we'd never reach for ANY of our dreams.

Krista Phillips said...

Mary... GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!