A week or so ago, I picked up a book at Walmart. It told the story of an author who had an idea for a book, while she was an undergraduate student at Northwestern. She thought this idea of hers would be fun to write. She started with a scene in her head of someone jumping off a building, on a dare. And then started asking questions to flesh out that scene…
Who would DO something so crazy?
She eventually changed the gender of that character who jumped off that building.
Then she drew an entire society and world around it. The author who wrote about that jumper was…
For those of you who may not know, she’s the author of the Divergent series.
The movie based on the first book in the series just came out.
It seems like a small thing, doesn’t it? A young woman writing a story that she thought was cool. How nice. Then that story turned into a best-selling series. Is making lots of money the only reason it’s cool? Or is it something more?
Writing a blockbuster is a strange alignment of popular writing, trends, and catching the eye of the right people. It’s not easy, by any means, and I don’t mean to imply it is.
What I am saying is that Ms. Roth is making money doing what she loves to do. That’s a rare gift. A lot of people dislike their jobs, for one reason or another.
There are days she’s under deadline, or needs to meet someone else’s expectations, such as an editor, most likely.
But she’s also getting something that didn’t exist in the universe before–her book, her thoughts–to be read and loved by thousands of people.
I’d say that’s the cool part.
The journey of an author is a series of inspiring moments, backed by a HUGE amount of work behind the scenes.
It’s the same for copywriters who have sold millions of dollars’ worth of products. There’s studying, stress, nerves, and a lot of other factors involved.
Is it easy? Heck no. But a lot of writers will tell you that the rewards are worth the risk, no matter what kind of writing they do.
You should do something you get excited about. There’s rough spots in every job or business. A lot to push through before finding success. Because along the way, you’ll never stop improving your skills, learning what works, and making what works a part of your writing arsenal.
But if it were easy, everyone would do it.
The other side of that coin is that it doesn’t matter who you are. There are a lot of different paths to get your work out there, and make money writing.
Until next time,