A while back I wrote an article for SCBWI on "The Syns of Writing", the title being a mash-up and pun all at once. For the longest time, I felt guilty for needing or wanting more for my creative self. I will say that a part of my writing process has been giving myself permission to create.
Taking yourself seriously brings on a whole host of thoughts.
If you write for yourself alone, there is no one or nothing other than yourself to please. But writing for publication is a totally different animal. It's a fine line between writing for a particular audience--- your audience--- and simply crafting for the crowd. I say that knowing there's a rainbow inbetween as well. To some people writing (or illustration) is a living, so taking a self-fulfilling job may be lower on the list than generating an income. Others, of the Stephen King variety their shopping list will find a loyal readership. Only YOU decide what this means to you and your pocket book.
But if you do it "fer reals", you must take it seriously. That means the discipline of working (and sometimes hacking) at it every day. It also means keep learning and preferably from the best, especially as THEY are your competition.
At least that's not as hard or as expensive as, say, becoming a doctor. A library card, time and practice is on your side. You cannot improve without investing yourself. Another great investment is finding at least one, or a few people who you trust with your creative self and opinions can tell you when you need to work on something or can beam at what you set down. Nothing like a great critique group or beta reader to keep you honest about your work. And consider it practice at the reviews you hope to get when your work is published and people flock to view and read it.
Many people know the above, many people don't. I add this because there is a beginning to writing and it's easy to lose sight of that. I revisit lessons not nearly as well-learned and it really is a consideration to becoming conscious about your process. If I had a dime (inflation) for every time someone said "I'm thinking about writing, illustrating," I'd not monetize this account. So redundant is good (hey, Will Terry OFTEN says stuff that I "know" but for one reason or another have not fully complied. His explanations really got through when all the other,"you must do A to be B to get to C " *said in drone voice*, hadn't. So there may be a drip drip to some of the posts I share, but it's the confluence that gets the momentum and I appreciated this kind of stuff when I was starting out, even when I didn't do it).
Today I'll talk a little bit abut my present wip, and ongoing about the illustrations for this, as well as some of my design work for my online stores. Who knows? Perhaps one day they'll take off, lol (Till then I'm practicing what I preach and learning some great stuff). In a few weeks, I'll be able to write/edit my midgrade, so I will talk about longer works. I've also thought I'll illustrate this book now, and if I have the resources, ability later, this (Annie) would make a wonderful app). If I do that, I will be sharing that process, as well. I'm moving this week and starting an intensive class next week, (when it rains it pours, don't it!) So will blog twice today (another TWOFER!) plan a review or two, learn to schedule posts to post their ownselves and hopefully even if I'm offline next week and perhaps the week after, the habit of JOURNALING which really helps clarify and adds to my discipline will take root
My next post will be my process of writing Annie and I will take one stanza and show the changes and thinking process.