“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” -Richard Bach.
Sometimes, I wonder what the heck I’m doing with this whole writer thing and wondering if I have any sort of capacity for enough talent to make it worthwhile. I’ve started following the blogs of a lot of people who astound me, people who really have a pretty good grip on this writing thing, who have been published or have ebooks available, who have this great network of other writers and readers, and sometimes, I’ll admit, I feel intimidated. Not only intimidated, but also doubtful of whether or not I could ever really get to the level of some of the people I see and admire.
Then, a quote like this one from Richard Bach surfaces and provides a wonderful reminder that, while talent and skill do count for something, a great deal of being successful with your writing is sheer tenacity and determination. There are millions of books out there; some of them are stunning, fantastic, wonderful. Some of them (I’ve read a few, too!) are complete and utter crap. What one finds enthralling, another might find just terrible. There are as many different readers and writers as there are book, and what all those writers have in common was that they didn’t give up. I might be sending out some of the same stories, again and again, to different journals, but, one day, someone might like it. I’ll never know if my book is publishable if I don’t finish it. I’ll never build up a network of support from other writers if I keep wimping out on supporting them, if I don’t visit their blogs, read their works, and continue to give them feedback and ideas, even if I feel miniscule in the light of their success.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
Honestly, what a fantastic quote and a reminded that we were all in the amateur boat at one time, and we all probably got a sinking hole in it at one point, too.
Granted, I think, no matter how much I begin to doubt myself, writing is so much a part of me and who I am that I will probably never be able to stop, even if everyone else in the world told me my work was worthless. That would simply mean my audience is contained to three people: me, myself, and I. I might not be able to make money or get famous from my writing, but it’s a part of me, something I must do. And that’s that.