It is not every day one decides to become an author for a living and it certainly is not written in stone. Writing is risky business. To make a living at it, a pinch of magic, a touch of good writing, a dash of passion, and a fucking heap of luck is required. So let's start at the beginning. But what would that be?
They say there is a writer in all of us: there is a writer in you; there is a writer in your friend, your mother, and even that younger sibling you hate for no reason other than their being younger (I do not know how that feels, but I do know how it feels on the receiving end); and—I am sure you saw where I was going with this—there is a writer in me. We all have stories to tell. So what separates a true writer from a "writer"? Is it inherent skill, mastery with the tongue? Maybe a little bit, but while one can be inherently skilled to a certain degree, that is not all that makes a writer. With much, much, much, much (see where I’m going?), much work, anybody can over the course of much, much, much (oh, come on), much time shape a literary piece into something really special; everyone can write a decent, if not good book. A great one or a masterpiece may be pushing it, but most definitely a good one.
We came across what separates a true writer from a wannabe: time. Talent will not make a writer stand out unless they put time into their projects. Inherent or learned talent only gets you so far, but without perfecting the manuscript, hour after hour, it will not be any good. Countless people dream of writing a book one day, as a fun hobby (it is indeed fun!), but few actually do it. Saying one will do something "one day" does not mean one will actually do it; talk is cheap. If you want to write a book, just do it! What is stopping you, really?
As many say, "There is a writer in all of us; everyone has a book in them." Whether they have the willpower to put that book on paper is an altogether other issue. Crafting a masterpiece is not easy, but writing a decent story requires mostly time and dedication. One needs to obsess to the point where they make the book as good as possible, but also be able to let go before it's changed to the point where it becomes bad.
After writing the book, that is when it gets confusing and frustrating. What now? Should one send one's manuscript to a book publisher and hope they do not reject it? One could do that. But I believe in the future of self-publishing! It is so easy, it is almost ridiculous. Sure, lots of complete garbage gets through; because it is too easy to publish, some writers do not spend enough time on the novels. But self-publishing makes it possible for good authors to publish their novels, on which they have worked hard. I hope to be placed in that category—I have certainly worked hard—but I am at the beginning of my career, so I have the rest of my life to shape novels into masterpieces and build a fan base. When one is in the business of being a writer, one has not failed until one gives up. For that matter, the same could be said about life: one only fails if one gives up. Try, and try again, god-fucking-dammit!
Self-publishing—for instance, with CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing—is the wave of the future, the next step in the evolution of creativity. Not only professional authors can see their words in print; anyone can. So if you share my dream of telling written tales or simply want to see your name in print, take the time to put your thoughts on paper. It is worth the hours spent; you have no idea.
To follow one's dreams, one must put one's mind and soul into it. One's brain does most of the work, but one's heart gives it the warm glow of humanity and will spur one to continue running, even though one is heading uphill. Screw that voice that says, "I cannot do this." Some say there is nothing that cannot be done if one simply puts one's mind to it; I say there is nothing that cannot be done if one puts one's heart to it. As long as one is true to oneself and lets one's heart lead the way through the darkness, one cannot go wrong. Sooner or later, one will stumble upon the sunrise.
Finally, check out this cutie (no, not my brother):