The Highs and Lows of Being a Professional Author

How can authors and aspiring authors deal with the lows that come with writing as a career? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including In Twenty Years, on Quora:

How can authors and aspiring authors deal with the lows that come with writing as a career? This is a great question, and the only answer is through.

Here's the honest truth: every single writer reaches low points. After my fourth novel, (for which I was paid very well and promised a lot of things that did not pan out), did not sell well, I was left angry, shaken and confused, I considered leaving the industry. It was a real reckoning: how much did I love what I did for a living vs. how unhappy the process made me? I am not alone in this feeling, regardless of when an author hits that point. Rejection, as I always tell aspiring writers, is simply part of the beast in this industry. If you are thin-skinned or take rejection personally, and I say this with the utmost love and kindness, this job isn't for you. I really mean that. Even now, I have manuscripts turned down, I get mean reviews all over the place, I get hateful emails. If this will make you crazy, find another outlet for your creativity.

That said, back to your original question: the only way through it is through. You just have to keep writing. My very first manuscript was agented but didn't sell to a publisher. My agent and I parted ways. I wrote another book, found a new agent (an exhausting process in and of itself), and she sold that book at a four-way auction. You just have to have the tenacity to keep going. It is not a steady, always positive career, and you just have to go into it knowing that. Surround yourself with a great support system, befriend other writers who have empathy, keep going.

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