If your dream is to become a full-time writer who works in the comfort of her own home, sitting at the computer in cozy pjs or a sweat suit all day, then you need to make sure you are ready for the writer’s life. Mainly, you need to ask yourself this question: Do I really like to write?

Understand the Writer’s Life

As a freelance writer myself, and a writing teacher and writing coach, I am always surprised at the people I meet who say that I am living their dream. They would give anything to be able to quit their day jobs and write all day, just like I do. Yet when I ask them about their writing, they do not really write very much. Not only that, many of them hate to rewrite, and they do not like to read. Yikes! To me, that is like a professional basketball player saying he does not like to practice and he hates wearing athletic shoes. Reading, writing, and certainly rewriting are just part of the game for those of us who make our living as freelance writers. If you do not enjoy those parts of the game, then maybe you need to find another game and certainly another dream. The writer’s life could turn out to be more of a nightmare for you.

The writer’s life is much more than signing books in bookstores or appearing on Oprah to promote your latest novel. Most of the time, a writer sits alone at the keyboard. When the writing is not going well, this “dream life” can be frustrating and agonizing. But when the writing is going well (as it usually does after a period of agony for each project), there is nothing else the true writer would rather be doing than reworking a story or article until the whole thing starts to come together.
Find Time to Write

Maybe you really do like to write, rewrite, and read, but your personal life and work schedule do not allow you unlimited time for writing. Do not let that stand in the way of your dream. Make a commitment to yourself that writing is going to be a priority. Even if all you can manage is 15 minutes of writing a day, stick to that. If you do, it will not be long until you somehow find additional time to write.

Try These Other Tips

Here are other tips I give my writing and coaching students who are serious about one day living their dream of being a full-time writer.

1. Do not make excuses. Once you start working with editors, they will not want to hear excuses for work not being completed on time.

Treat yourself as an editor would. Do not accept excuses from yourself for not writing. Just find the time and do it. Write! Many writers who are now best-selling authors got up at 5:00 A.M. to write their first novel or they stayed up to write long after the rest of their families went to bed each night.

2. Stick to only a few small projects at first. Do not try to write a novel if you have never even managed to finish a short nonfiction article or a short story. You will overwhelm yourself from the start. Instead, write in a journal each day for a few weeks until you get in the habit of writing regularly. Once you have done that, set other writing goals for yourself, like finishing a nonfiction article.

3. Do not attempt to write for the glossy magazine markets right off the bat. Competition is fierce for publication in those big glossy magazines you see in the bookstores. Learn to write for smaller, local publications first. You will have more immediate success, which will inspire you to keep writing.

4. Take a writing course, or find a writing coach or mentor who can help you improve your writing. A mentor or writing coach can also keep you on track with your writing goals.

Once you have been writing regularly for a few months, you will know for sure if full-time writing really is the “dream life” you always thought it would be.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways3.html

Author's Bio: 

Suzanne Lieurance is a full-time freelance writer and the “working writer’s coach.” She helps people who love to write become “working” freelance writers. Lieurance is also a master teacher at http://www.universityofmasters.com, offering a course called Freelance Writing: How to Jump-Start Your Career. Lieurance is the author of 12 published books and is currently under contract for two more. Visit http://www.the-working-writers-coach.blogspot.com for more information about her intensive 8-week Working Writer’s Coaching Program, or visit her Web sites at http://www.suzannelieurance.com and http://www.workingwriterscoach.com for information about her books and other writing services. E-mail her at workingwriterscoach@hotmail.com.