Think long and hard about your dream of becoming an author. It is a thrilling ride. It is. From first short story prize, to first rejection as a novelty, to agent interest, to publisher interest to holding your first arc—it’s a lovely thing. If only we could stop there. Live that wonderful ride and then go on to a new challenge in veterinary science or say learning a trade. I think there’s going to be big money in tattoo removal.

I’m not warning you off, lovely writer reader. Publishing traditionally and indie is like marriage and breastfeeding. It’s hard and it hurts.

Writing is hard. Not like neuroscience, hard but hard like there’s no right answer hard. Is anything harder than trying to do something right when there is no one right way to do it? I was a girl scout. There is always a checklist and then a badge. Not so with writing. No check list only suggestions and then editors who say, “Well…that’s close but.

The pain involved is in the rejection. Constant rejection. First by agents, then by publishers, then by readers. If you’re lucky and you get readers inevitably there will be ones that call you, boring, predictable, and terrible at dialogue (which makes you never want to speak again). But worse is when you get letters from your agency that show numbers that clearly indicate that no one is, in fact, reading you. Pain.

After the hardness and the pain comes the PR. You realize that writing a story and making a character come alive is just the beginning of the skill set of a writer. Next, you must become an expert at publicity. If you didn’t think you had the time to write before, just wait for the no-one-sleeps PR train that you must now jump on.

I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t, not for a minute but I will say this, I had no idea what to expect. Maybe that was a good thing because now I’ve learned to live with the pain (in a good way).

 

So here’s the tweet: Dear writer, Be a vet.

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