Romancing the Planet Interviewed Me, and Now I Ask You: What Do You Think It Takes to be a Writer?

Last year while I was living in Granada, Romancing the Planet had a few questions for me about traveling and being a travel writer. Here’s a quick excerpt, and you can read the entire thing at their website.

“The most important qualities that a writer of any kind needs are ambition and a willingness to take risks. It is easy to write, but it is very difficult to actually make a living as a writer. I read once that less than one percent of people who consider themselves writers actually end up supporting themselves by it. So to enter a career that is so narrowed to the chosen few, you have to literally be willing to die for it. You don’t become a writer by working a day job; you become a writer by writing. Be ready and willing to starve, or to get evicted or have the electricity cut off due to lack of payment, or to struggle with language barriers, or to go to the places where no one else has or will. Basically, you have to be fearless. And it doesn’t hurt to have an incredible ability to hold one’s liquor.”

Are you a writer or aspiring writer? What do you think it takes to succeed at it? Comment below and let’s get the discussion going. This is one of my favorite topics, and while the excerpt above seems to stamp out my opinion on the whole thing pretty clearly, in actuality I believe that there are an endless number of paths to becoming a writer. Mine just happened to work for me.

6 thoughts on “Romancing the Planet Interviewed Me, and Now I Ask You: What Do You Think It Takes to be a Writer?

  • March 31, 2014 at 5:29 am
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    To be a writer you need the basic tools all writers have. Good grammar, a substantial vocabulary, an ability, which can be acquired by practice, practice and practice of constructing readable sentence.If you want to be a freelancer, a touch of humour will not hurt. Forget the initial setbacks,practice, practice practice and read, read read. Published writers and successful free lance writers have a lot to teach you. Also persevere. Don’t let initial setbacks take the wind out of your sails. Soon you will hear from the crow’s nest “Land Ahoy.”.

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  • April 8, 2014 at 11:15 am
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    .Writing has to be a passion. It helps if your world travels and experiences are part of the corona of your main message. It also helps if, in my opinion, your story or main thrust in your life is compelling. I always like a story that I can relate to, that contains eternal truths I know to be true too.

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  • February 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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    You have to be an avid reader. It could be anything from chic lit to philosophy, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s well written and draws you in as a reader. You have to be curious, research is important, as is keeping up with what’s going on now. A bit of humour makes people want to read on, po-faced stats and overt product plugging does not. Chose a market that suits you – travel and leisure suits me, but you may be more into gadgets. If you feel bereft without something to read, and compelled to write something even if you’re not going to be paid for it, then you have a writers mind set.

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    • February 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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      Great words Kate. I especially like the idea that writing can rise out of the want of something to read. The story I feel like reading hasn’t been created yet–I guess it’s up to me!

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  • February 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm
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    Thanks nickwp! Why not start writing your life story to pass on to your kids, if or when you have any- they’ll appreciate that. Personally, I would find it difficult to make up a fictional story, but am interested in social history and wish I’d asked the older generation more about their experiences when they were alive. Currently obsessed with To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (found lurking neglected in my bookcase) and am reading it when I should be working/studying/ talking to people! Started the day before she died – and owe it to her memory to finish it right now! Apparently a sequel (Go Set A Watchman) is now available bring it on!

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  • February 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    Sorry, nickwp – somebody told me She’d died this morning! For once, happy to be misinformed

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