I read this years ago, in Writers News I think and perhaps it has stayed with me for a reason. The fact is it is not essential to the definition to be a published writer no matter how much we aspire to that and dream of the possibilities it might afford us. A writer is someone who writes.
I just read a blog post where the writer said she felt that she was ‘ not cut out for what being a writer means today’ . I guess a lot of writers feel and have felt this way, Jane Austin for one, in her time after all her chosen life went against the social grain of the time yet writing was what she chose to do regardless. I also lament that the time has passed when it was more about craft and talent than about cash.When the world was more innocent if you like. My blogger pointed out that those who shouted (often crudely, in my opinion,) the loudest and the most provocative is what sells of success. I agree it seems that way sometimes but there are some genius new writers getting published all the time so this is not always true. An original voice, a good story, a unique view on the world, depth of character and moments that live on in the reader’s mind, form and shape us even, are all out there.
We have to polish our own craft to be good enough at putting down our ideas to rank among these shinning ones and this simply means that we keep on writing. Even into a space devoid of any echoes of response. Selling yourself, knowing the right person, all this social media interaction stuff does not go with a modest non aggressive personality who lives in the abstract world of ideas . However to naively believe like a spoilt child that if it’s not going to be enough just to sit at home and write while they stock your book on the front table in Waterstones then you need to take a hard look at the facts of todays publishing world and wise up.
If for you it’s really about creating something beautiful, then it matters. If you have a book idea then just get started. The story will take you where its going. Remember there is at least one person that will get immense pleasure and excitement from it as well as satisfaction at the end of those 100,000 pages and that will be you.