I belong to a number of Facebook groups related to writing. In some of them, I see questions I haven’t asked in years, Questions so basic that DON’T THOSE PEOPLE KNOW ANYTHING? comes to mind. Then I remember myself. Sometimes I drop a bit of advice, and often when I do it is appreciated (given a like or two, at least.) Thing is, I’m still not a famous, self-sustaining writer. Hell, I’m almost seventy, and I’m still aspiring to that (keeps one young, I’m told.) Great, but that means, that, while I can give advice to raw beginners (Speak Engrish, Troop!?) I still need a lot of help myself. And I have learned a few things over time.
Number one: nobody knows how you should proceed in your career. People who tell you what to do should pay attention to their own lives, and let you figure out yours.
Two: that’s not to say that you can’t learn from others’ experiences. You can, but never try to be them. Or even like them. You are you, and that’s fantastic.
Three: you will not be an overnight success. If you are, you’ll spend the rest of your life being unsure of your actual talents. As opposed to if you work hard for years and finally break through, in which case you will spend the rest of your life being unsure of your actual talents. This is called “Imposter Syndrome.” Get used to it.
And number zero: Know the rules like a professional so you can break them like an artist. (Pablo Picasso) Rule zero because it is the most important.
There, now you know everything you need to know to be a famous, self-sustaining writer. You’re welcome.