The many chances of a writing career

Lynsey May in her flat Writing might not seem like the most forgiving of careers at first glance but the more I learn, but more fortunate I think we are to be enchanted by words and stories.

Of course, it won’t always feel that way. As with all other forms of art, those making it are typically also struggling to make a living and times are often tough. It’s easy to think we’ve got it hard.

A novel that is too similar to others on the list, one that deals with a topic now considered passé, one that’s a little too quiet in a summer of blockbusters – there’s often little in the way of forgiveness for these.

Weak stories are torn apart by reviewers and critics, or worse, ignored and a bad night at a spoken word mic can feel like it’s own special punishment. There’s no room for those searching for an easy ride and yet writers are especially lucky when it comes to trying to make a career because they have so many chances at making it big.

What if you wanted to be a footballer? A gymnast? What if you didn’t realise where your passions lay until it was already too late? There’s no such thing as too late for a writer. True, you may find there are more obstacles in your path as life goes on, but the words will always be there, waiting for you.

There’s room in a writing career for doubt. You’re allowed to stray from the point or have a crisis of faith. It might be difficult if you’re contracted for a second novel when the doubt hits or you might miss a particular market sweet spot, but guess what? Once you’ve regrouped, no one will be able to stop you from trying again.

Imagine being a ballet dancer and knowing that a two year hiatus could easily signal the end of your career. Two years is barely a blip on the screen for the seasoned writer. Take the lows, love the highs and remember you’re lucky to have found a passion that will let you try and try and try again until you get it right.