Keep writing. Just keep writing. Start going to reading events. Befriend the people who do them and organize them. Apply for every freelance writing position, even if it’s free. Because eventually you’ll get gigs for $10 a piece. And then $25 a piece. And then $50. And then more.
I was lucky. It was luck, a little bit of talent, and a lot of blogging. A LOT of blogging. I started blogging when I was 13. I blogged about chemistry tests and boys I had crushes on. I don’t understand writers who don’t blog, and I have a very tough love attitude towards them – I don’t think they are natural writers. I think if you are a writer, you have to write all the time. Write publicly. There’s no reason not to. It’s 2015 and you’re not going to get any exposure or jobs by writing in your private Word docs and status updating about writing. Nobody cares about your writing if they can’t read it. Write everything and let people read it.
I hope to get back into writing more frequently once I settle down. I’ve been having too much fun since I moved here and my writing has suffered because of it. I also don't have a real place to write in my new apartment yet because of furniture shopping and furniture purging. I hardly write in my journal. I barely write more than a few paragraphs in this blog a week.
I feel like I wasn’t experiencing much externally when I was living in Nashville and the LA suburbs and writing all of the time. Now I feel like I’m retarding the internal by focusing on the external. I don’t know if these cycles go hand in hand. I do know that — and I’m not joking about this — my blog gave me the confidence to try new things. I am generally very reserved. I don’t crow about accomplishments or talents. When I started to get feedback from my writing and photography on this thing, it felt good. It felt like validation. When I started to get offers for freelancing, it felt even better because it validated the… feeling of being validated from blogging feedback.
It probably won’t happen all at once, but maybe it will. I wrote publicly for years before being offered my first unpaid writing gig. I met people who were esteemed in their own trades, whether it be blogging, music, fashion. They promoted me. We promoted each other. We supported each other’s talents and I have generated thousands of readers and followers. But it takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a year, or even in two years. Write everyday.
One of my favorite bloggers (since 2009) got her first book deal. My former boss wrote a YA trilogy being optioned for film currently. I know people whose blogs got them jobs as TV writers. I believe this has to do with talent, but also not curating your art. Don’t fucking post your “best of”s because that’s bullshit. Post everything. Be a well-rounded example of who you are. Sometimes life is boring. Write about it. Sometimes life is crazy and you only have time to write two sentences. Write them. Sometimes you’re going through something and you’re not sure how your audience will receive it. Write about it.
And like, I'm not trying to be rude. Truly. I am hugely supportive of writing communities and aspiring writers. I love it. But just fucking write about it.