Adam Heine is one of my favorite people on the web, and it has nothing to do with his love of ninjas. (Okay, maybe it does a little.) He writes about sky pirates, which I also happen to love. I know, loving ninjas and pirates is against all nerd laws, but that's how I roll. Oh, and he and his wife foster children in Thailand. Cool, no?
A Writer's Education
by Adam Heine
It's hard for Professional Aspiring Writers to justify hours and hours (and years and hours) of time spent on a hobby that doesn't pay. It's hard to ask my wife to watch the kids so I can "work." If nobody pays me, and the likelihood of publishing success is comparable to winning the lottery, can I even call it work?
Well, it feels like work. And I treat it like work, sitting down to write or blog or social-network every day—planning for a book deal and a career that may never happen. But what kind of job demands years of uncompensated service before giving you even a chance at wages?
All of them, it turns out. It's called college.
College is 4+ years of work that pays nothing and (these days) doesn't even guarantee a job at the end. That's exactly what we're doing when we sit at our computer, typing a story nobody may ever buy.
It's better than college, because it's free. Better because it's easier to hold a job while writing than studying. Better because if we don't get a job with our first degree (i.e. novel), we can write another and learn more.
So next time you shut out the world to write, remember you're not wasting time on a gamble. You're studying to be a writer. There's no guarantee of success, but what career offers that? (Shoot, I recently had a friend get turned down at MCDONALD'S. If burger-flipping isn't guaranteed, nothing is!). So long as you live life, working to get published is as valid an education as any other.
Keep writing. It's your education.