Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist

As writers, we tend to have a certain mystique. I wish I had a dime every time someone said, “I’ve always wanted to be a writer!” But the truth is that not everyone has what it takes to write books for a living.

So for those of you considering the profession, or who are already here and are considering getting out, here are 10 reasons NOT to become a novelist!

1. You want to make a lot of money. Truth is, writing books, I’m still not breaking even. Freelancing is a different story. But books, well…not so much.

2. You chose this profession because you mom said you were the best writer ever. There are a lot of reasons to become a writer, and family support is important. But truthfully your mom probably isn’t an unbiased advocate.

3. You want job where you can stay at home and have a life. I work harder and put in more hours as a writer than I EVER did at a traditional job. Writing is my life.

4. You want fame (to go along with the fortune in #1). There are more ways than ever to find your 15 minutes of fame. But writing a book isn’t one of them.

5. You enjoy talking about writing more than the actual writing. Writing groups are full of these folks. They enjoy the creative atmosphere, but are unwilling to actually sit down and commit words to paper.

6. You want to do something where you’re the boss. Yes, you will be working for yourself, and writing novels does give you control over how you schedule your time. But once you begin selling a project, everyone else seems to have more input than you. Your agent, your editors, even the bookstores carry more weight than you.

7. You don’t take criticism well. Professional writers know the best way to get better is by listening—with an open mind—to suggestions. None of us like being told we can improve. Professional writers want to get better more than they want their egos stroked.

8. You hate to read. Good writers read. Argue all you want, but that’s just a fact.

9. You can’t stand rejection. Editors and agents reject manuscripts for a variety of reasons, and it often has nothing to do with how well written it is.

10. You can be satisfied doing something other than writing. The truth is, if you can imagine doing anything else, do it.

How about you, can you add any more reasons not to become a novelist to my list?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist! (click to tweet) 

Think you want to become a novelist? Here are 10 reasons to fight the impulse! (click to tweet)


  1. Great post. I've known a lot of people who want to "have written". They don't want to sit their rear end in the chair and bleed words on the computer screen--but they like all the rest.

    1. Pat, I love that phrase 'bleed words on the computer screen.' That's exactly what we do! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Blessings, E

  2. I wish I had a dollar for every comment about how I must be raking the money in now that my book is published. LOL!

  3. My husband was once asked how it feels to be supported by a woman who writes romances! He just smiled. At that time I was getting a whopping 9 cents per book royalty!!!