You write because you love to write, and don’t ever forget it: It’s what makes you a writer.
I understand wanting to be published, because it was the thing I wanted for so many years, just like maybe you do now. But the further I get into publishing, the more I realize how important it is to remember that I write because it’s my love. So wherever you are on your way to your publishing goals, this post is to remind you to always remember your love of writing, because it’s by far the most wonderful and precious part of the process, and it deserves to be protected.
Writing the story is where the joy is: Putting pencil to paper; watching the plot unfold; and creating characters from scratch. When you catch yourself feeling dissatisfaction with something you’ve believe is lacking from your writing career, (like having an agent or a publishing contract), focus on the joy of writing and the luxury of being able to do it every single day.
It’s all about the writing.
I bet, if you’re like me, that you’ve felt the desire to write since you were a child. Maybe you’ve been writing every day since you learned how. Just think about how pure that desire is. Creativity is like that – it’s a mix of love and joy, and sometimes even spirituality. Writing makes us feel connected. So don’t mistake being published as the thing that makes you a writer. You’re a writer because you write. If you’re continuously putting pencil to paper to create stories that you love, then you’re just as much of a writer as I am, or any other author whose name you’ve seen on bookstores’ shelves.
I’m not saying that being published isn’t a worthy goal, because it is. Having ambitious goals can create great things, and you must be the one to set those goals for yourself. But finding the value of where you are now in your creative process is one of the greatest things that writing has taught me. And if you’re thinking: easy for you to say, I promise you, I’ve been there. After college, my practical college roommates landed great jobs and law school admissions while I stocked potato chips on the shelves of Wal-Mart for my Uncle Doug’s potato chip company so I could save enough money to move to New York City and become a writer/actress. (My hair smelled like snack food for three months straight.) It was a long but great road to getting published, because I got to write the whole time, every day! No one could stop me from writing! And no one can stop you!
Another thing: I need this post just as much as you do.
That feeling of, “I’ll just be happy when I get there,” is a force to be reckoned with, and sometimes, in the moment of looking for that next big thing that would make me happy in my career, I forget about the thing that actually makes me happy: the writing.
So lets make a promise together: every time we convince ourselves that we need an outside show of approval, whether that’s getting an agent, getting published, or having a book made into a movie-musical starring Neil Patrick Harris, lets take a deep breath, honor the present moment, honor the true value in creating, and honor our true love: writing.
Then lets write.
Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. Katharine’s first book, Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career (Perseus/Running Press) was published September 2010. Her YA novels The Boyfriend App (2013) and The Pretty App (2015) were published by Balzer and Bray. She lives in New York City with her family.