But...there's nothing less noble in writing for a dollar first. In reality, once you establish yourself as a writer able to earn a living, you often buy time and financial means to pursue your art.
FundsforWriters was my second choice of writing profession. My first was mystery novelist. For two years I wrote weekends and nights on a mystery, hoping it would sell and propel me into stardom and allow me to leave the 9-to-5. It didn't. FundsforWriters did.
Writing friends asked me why I didn't write grants for a living. Gag me, I thought. I deal with finances, grants and loans all day. What kind of getaway is that? Then advise others how to find grants and earn a living, they said. One in particular said it loud enough to make me listen. I asked her to teach me how to write a newsletter and off I went. FundsforWriters was born. If I couldn't be an artist - a novelist - I could at least write editorials, freelance and hawk myself out for writing gigs.
Now I have readers, a platform that's not too shabby, and guess what? I found the means and time to write the novel. So I did. An agent accepted it. A publisher accepted it. My head still spins that it's happening. I thought I sold my soul to the business aspects of writing - nonfiction - feature writing. Instead, I'd paved the way to the first dream - writing fiction. It wasn't until I'd supported my writing career with a solid foundation that I found the ability to pursue the dream of a mystery novel.
We don't always find our way in a straight line from Point A to Point B. Sometimes we have to detour, get lost, find another goal, and return to start wiser and more endowed. Sometimes we have to let opportunity lead us by the nose, even if that opportunity isn't what we'd select.
- Write journalism to buy time and money to pen poetry.
- Write press releases and white papers to afford time to compose plays.
- Create newsletters and blogs to built a platform from which to sell your fiction.
Don't be deaf and blind, much less ignorant, to other options. Become a writer first. Build a platform, hone the craft, earn a living. Then you'll have the latitude to call your own shots to write what's really in your heart.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost