Today, I’ve had the opportunity to swap blogs with YA author Tessa Emily Hall! =) Check out my post on researching for your novel over at her blog here. Enjoy reading! =) I hope to see y’all in the comments!
At 18-years-old, I faced a crossroads in my life: Pursue my heart’s desire to write, or settle for a stable career. A career that most people would consider to be a “real job” as opposed to being a writer.
I wasn’t at this crossroads for too long before I remembered I have absolutely no other passions or gifts that aren’t related to books and writing. (Other than acting, which isn’t necessarily considered a “real job”, either.)
Now that I’m 23 and have been journeying along this writing path for seven years now, I can say with confidence that, yes, writing isa real job. No, it’s not just a hobby. If it was just a hobby then I would not be making an income right now.
Think about the text we’re exposed to every day: Textbooks. Novels. Non-fiction books. Magazines. Newspapers. Newsletters. Ads. Manuals. TV and film (scripts). Catalogs. Greeting cards. Website copy. All of this text is written by a human, a human who was most likely paid to provide their content.
Young writers, be encouraged. There are many avenues that provide opportunities for you to offer your gift of words. Don’t let the naysayers convince you that this world does not need your ability to paint sentences with ink, or that you can’t make a living by working with words of some sort.
You may be saying, “Yeah, but it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a novelist.” That may be true. Being a novelist alone doesn’t necessarily pay the bills—unless you strike gold and become a huge best-selling author. Unless you establish a loyal readership and produce multiple books per year. And unless you can cultivate other streams of income in areas that would allow you to contribute your expertise in this field.
So if you’re at a crossroads, struggling to understand how to make a living as a writer, here’s a list of writing/book-related jobs that would give you the opportunity to work in the field of your passion.
· Become a freelance editor
· Become a freelance writer
· Become a greeting card writer
· Become a journalist
· Teach writing/editing courses—online and offline
· Work for a publishing company
· Work for a literary agency
· Work at a bookstore
· Tutor kids in creative writing/English
· Offer marketing/promotional services for authors
And in case you’re asking, “How are you doing it? What path did you choose after high school?”
Great question! After I graduated high school, I enrolled in a community college. About a year later, I pursued a Creative Writing degree at Christian Leadership University. I am now a part-time student and juggling the many hats I wear in the industry. Here’s what my roles look like:
· I’m an author
· I work as an Associate Agent at Hartline Literary
· I work as a YA Acquisitions Editor at Illuminate YA (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas imprint)
· I’m a freelance writer
· I’m a freelance editor
· I teach workshops at writing conferences across the US
· I manage a Christian teen magazine I founded, Pursue Magazine
· I coordinate blog tours for authors
· I teach creative writing to young writers through my online mentorship, Write Now
Remember: You’ve been given your ability and passion to work with words/books for a reason. Do your research, receive wise counsel from your parents and advisors, and then prayerfully make decisions that concern your future. But please, if you feel as though you’ve been called into this field, then whatever you do, don’t write it off due to lack of faith. (Pun not intended!)
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens lead her to a career as an Associate Agent at Hartline Literary Agency, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. Tessa’s first teen devotional will release with Bethany House in 2018. She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.
Have you struggled with the assumption that writing can’t be a real job? Do you hope to pursue a career in the writing/publishing industry?