How can you know if you're qualified to become a writer? Recently a person said that she didn't have a college degree so didn't think she'd ever be able to get published. A week or so ago, I saw an interview with Avi, famous children's author, and he said he struggled with symptoms of a learning disability when he was growing up. Last month I gave a little "author talk" during lunch at a local SCBWI event and someone commented that my success was because I had published so many books already.
Yet I started out just like everyone else getting years of rejections before I ever sold my first manuscript--a local newspaper article about my dad in celebration of Father's Day. And I qualify to teach writing at a local state university--not because I have a college degree because I don't--but because I am a published author. And as for struggling with a learning disability--I know of extremely successful writers who are such marvelous storytellers that they've landed high-paying writing assignments and still can't spell or use punctuation correctly.
Do you want to be a writer? Then you're qualified! I truly believe that if you have the heart to write--you can become a successful writer. Oh--it may not happen overnight. I gathered a steady stream of rejections for 5 years before I ever saw my first acceptance. You may have lots to learn--I still remember how I'd get letters back from editors telling me I had formatted my manuscript incorrectly. I had to read writing books and how-to books and attend writer's conferences and join critique groups. You may doubt your own abilities--I've shed many doubt-filled tears along the way. But you CAN be a writer. All you have to do is sit down and transform your thoughts into words on a paper. And if you're already doing that--you're already a writer!
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