posted on March 9, 2020 by Cindy R. Wilson

What it really takes to be a writer

As a writer, I get a lot of questions about my job. The big ones are, “How do you come up with your ideas?” or “How long does it take to write a book?” Sometimes I even get “What is it like being able to do what you love all day?” But there are also times I get, “I wish I could sit at home in my pajamas and write all day.”

Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? And yes, when you’re writing, you can wear pajamas. But the rest of it, everything being a writer really means, is not as much like a vacation as it is hard work. So I’m here today to talk about what it really takes to be a writer.

  • Discipline

This one is probably the most important because you can’t finish writing a book if you don’t start writing a book. And there are all the days of writing in between. You have to get words down on paper and it can take weeks, months or even years, to finally finish a story. And that’s all before editing.

  • Time and Work

This goes with the idea above. You can write stories in your spare time, but the more serious about writing you are, the more time and hard work you have to put into it. Not only at the beginning, when you’re writing, but later on when you’re getting published or already there. You have deadlines and people expecting things from you. Kind of like a real job. But this one you can do in your pajamas.

  • Perseverance

Writing is hard. So not only do you have to get that story done, you have to realize nothing may come of it for a while. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean someone is automatically going to publish it. I wrote several YA novels before an editor finally wanted to publish one, and there are still stories I haven’t sold. But that’s okay. It’s hard and sometimes it hurts, but if you can keep pushing forward despite the hardships, there are rewards.

  • Perspective

This is one of the hardest things for me. I like order and organization. So, naturally, I wanted to follow a path to get published. Write a story, edit it, try to find an agent and if I find an agent then try to sell the book. And then said book comes out in a year or two and you repeat the whole cycle. Except that’s not how publishing works most of the time. My debut novel wasn’t even one I was trying to get published and the one that’s coming out now is actually the first book I ever had under contract (now my fourth release!). Publishing is awesome but weird and things aren’t often linear. You have to sometimes take a step back and let things work on their own timetable, and have enough perspective to be grateful for taking those steps forward in your writing career.

Even with all that adjusting, I still love writing. It’s my passion and something I can’t imagine not doing. And it’s amazing to be able to reach readers and other writers with my words. Thanks so much for having me here today!




They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.

But then a trusted friend reveals who I am—“just” Tessa, “just” a girl—and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.

In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.
With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…

Cindy R. Wilson

Cindy R. Wilson

Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You'll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.

2 thoughts on “What it really takes to be a writer”

  1. flchen1 says:

    Love this peek at the writerly life, Cindy! Thanks for taking your passion and discipline and turning it into books!

    1. Cindy Wilson says:

      Absolutely! Doing what I love is an amazing thing and I’m so happy I get to share it with people like you 🙂

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