The road to becoming a writer is not always an easy one, especially if you are not lucky enough to have a private income, or a partner who earns a good salary. If you have to earn a living, it will probably be necessary at some point to sacrifice your art to earn enough money to pay the mortgage or rent, to put food on your plate and pay your bills.

As a single writer with no private income, I have many times had to put my writing aside and go to work. It can be very frustrating. Writing a book takes time, and without any guarantee of publication – or even if it is published, that people will buy it – all those hours sweating over the paper or keyboard may remain completely unpaid. If you have to write while working full time, it can sometimes feel like you will never achieve publication or recognition.

On the other hand, the experience I have gained by going in and out of different careers has been beneficial in many ways. Writers need to learn as much as they can about different people and all kinds of walks of life. Working in different jobs and having lots of experiences will in the long run make you a better writer and extend your range of subjects to write about.

Everything in a writer’s life can be used as something to write about, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Learn to see everything that you do, or that happens to you, through a writer’s eyes. Store it away for future use, and in the meantime, plan how you are going to achieve your own writing goals.

The first thing you need to get clear about is what kind of writer you want to be and make that your goal. This does not mean, however, that you should dismiss all other forms of writing. It is very worth while having a look at other kinds of writing to see if you can branch out into something that will be more lucrative in the short term.

For example, my main passion in writing is historical fiction. My knowledge in this area has lead to a few historical articles, which I have sold to family history magazines. Is there something you love writing about that you could turn into an extra income?

Writing articles will not bring you in a good full time income, unless you can be sure of writing at least three articles a week and getting them all published, but it can be useful as a supplement to your regular income.

Other outlets for the non-fiction writer can be freelance journalism, copywriting, or general freelance writing. These are highly competitive areas and you need to be sure you will enjoy this work before you start out. Check out what training is available, and read all you can about marketing and running a business before you go down any of these routes.

If this kind of business is not for you, and you really just want to write books, then write books. The important thing is that you do what you feel passionate about. This is the most important thing to keep you going in a competitive world and motivate you to be successful.

If you have a real passion for writing, you will find a way of writing, even if it is only for half an hour in the evening or weekends, or getting up half an hour early before setting off for your full time job or getting the kids to school.

When I was working in a college as a learning support assistant, I wrote a novel during my break times. I would scribbling in a quiet corner of the staff room for half an hour every day.

Do not buy into the idea that writers can only write in certain places. That is a luxury that only full time writers can have. For anyone else it is just an excuse for not writing. If you really want to you can write anywhere. I have written on trains, in waiting rooms, in hotels – anywhere where I have some spare time. I have written four novels on top of other work.

It is necessary to be aware of the realities of being a writer, but never allow those realities to stop you. If you really want to become a writer, then be one. Start right now. Write down what you want to achieve as a writer and set it as a goal.

It doesn’t matter if it takes months or years, the point is, if you find a way of writing every day, then you are a writer, and you have achieved your dream, whether you ever get published or not. Stop putting it off for some vague future time. If you really want it, you can become it right now, this minute. So, what are you waiting for?

Author's Bio: 

Ros is a career coach, writer and home business owner and lives in a small village just outside Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK. She owns the website, Professsional Coaching For Your Change of Career