If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’ve thought about writing at least once in your life. According to This Article on publishingperspectives.com, around 81% of Americans say they would like to write a book. I’m sure that percentage increases even further if you add the individuals that only want to write blogs and articles. However, the likelihood of the 200 million plus Americans writing said novel or blog is very slim. Only 80,000 books get published per year in the United States and (assuming one author to each book) that is roughly .025% of the overall population. Chances are even slimmer that one of those few books published will become a bestselling novel or get a movie deal. But that is the dream that lures each one of those 81% to want to write. And though that dream is hard to reach, there are those few that do achieve it.
For those of us who are unemployed, there is good news. We have an advantage in when it comes to writing…the ability to create our own daily schedules. Those that are employed have to write around their work schedule, their family schedule, and other activities. I’m not saying that unemployed individuals have nothing but free time. As an unemployed individual, I know how busy and stressed you are applying for jobs, interviewing, worrying about money, and taking care of family members. However, when compared to others with a strict 40-hour workweek, we have a little more leeway in choosing when we do those things. This is an advantage because we can schedule a time when we can sit down and write.
Writing is a good activity for the unemployed because it has the added benefit of giving you a sense of accomplishment—something that is greatly needed for an unemployed individual who does not have that opportunity. One of the reasons why unemployment is so stressful is because most individuals define themselves by their work accomplishments. Being unemployed means we have to find a sense of identity outside of a work environment—this is hard for people. Writing can give the author back a sense of self that they are missing. In my case, I use this blog. It has been able to provide me with the feeling of achievement that I miss from my job. Each post I put up (no matter how small) boosts my self-esteem, and if a reader comments, my mood goes up even more (hint, hint).
But what stops those who want to write from writing? I would say that the main reason is that they don’t have confidence in their ability to write well. To those who are in that position I say—DO IT ANYWAY! As with most things, skill only improves with practice. I don’t claim to be an amazing author—my degree is in Sociology not English—but each time I write something, I feel myself getting better. I have plans of sharing some of my writings on this blog in the near future, and many will find what I write to be silly, but that wont stop me and it shouldn’t stop you either.
So for all of those readers out there that want to write, here are a couple of sources from people who do write for a living.