I’ve been thinking for a while now about what it means to write for the long haul.
I’ve been writing professionally for more than two decades now, rebooting and restarting and rethinking my career–as well as the reasons I’m writing in the first place–many times. I’ve watched other writers do the same, and I’ve wondered at all the varied shapes our careers have taken.
I’ve also watched writers stop writing, and I’ve wondered at that too, because there doesn’t seem to be any one formula for when writers continue writing and when they move on to other things. It’s not as simple as the most successful writers lasting the longest, or the rest of us stopping after we hit some set number of challenges or bumps in the road. Whatever it takes to keep writing, it’s something more complicated than that.
What does it take to keep writing for the long haul? Much of the discussion of writing online is about how break in, or else about how to manage a career for the first few books or the first few years. Those perspectives are valuable, but I’m also interested in seeing an ongoing discussion of how writers survive beyond that–not just from a business point of view, but also from an emotional and life balance point of view.
So I started asking novelists who’ve been in this field for at least a decade (often far longer) why they’re still here and how they keep writing.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll post their responses as part of a new weekly blog series. I’m already enjoying the range of takes that I’m reading, and I’m looking forward to sharing them.
I’m hopeful that, wherever we are in our individual careers, we all can learn from each other.