Monday, December 17, 2007


There was a question on one of the Facebook groups when a high school student asked if he should pursue a career in writing. This is my reply with additional comments since the wall post only allowed 1,000 characters.

The post starts with "I don't mean to be sarcastic but have you ever heard of the term 'struggling writer'?" I then address the high school student's other concerns. Find a job that pays the bills first especially if you plan to go to college because that leaves most people enough in hock to busy them for quite a while.
Secondly, being a writer is a difficult career. The market is saturated with people wanting to get their novels published. Hell, even Jane Austen would have a hard time selling a novel in this market. I wrote an editorial in one of my blogs about a man who passed off Austen's novels as one of his own.

So why write? Because you have a story that pulses through your blood and won't leave you until its ink dries on the page.

However, for the money, there's always commercial writing work. You develop that by making contacts. Facebook is one way to do that. Of the Social Network Services, Facebook is the most useful. LinkedIn is a good tool also. MySpace, LiveJournal, and Orkut are useless because they are not well-organized and cater to a less literate crowd. Bebo and Friendster are the same in the lack of content. Twitter is useless unless you are terribly vain and want those who would rather not know about your latest hernia operation. Also try Sunoasis and Debbie Ng's freelance writing blog. Good luck!

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