(OK, now that you’ve all stopped laughing…)
Being a writer these days is much, much easier than it used to be.
Think about it: Most communication and submissions are now done on-line. No need to buy stamps and find #9 envelopes in quantities of less than 500. No lengthy delays between when you mail something and when you hear back. No worries that you didn’t put sufficient postage on the envelope or that you forgot your SASE.
Just send an e-mail or attach a Word file to an on-line submissions portal and you’re on your way.
And writing itself. Can you imagine writing in a time when there were no typewriters? Or when there were only typewriters? Think about making an error on a page and having to retype the entire page. Think about deciding to move text around in a scene and how hard that would’ve once been.
What about spellcheck? You can’t rely on it, obviously. But it certainly helps you find those three instances where you misspelled the main character’s name or those times when you were typing too fast and you put the h before the t in “the.” (A common error for me. One Word corrects before I can even register it half the time.)
And what about research? You want to know about the mating habits of Alaskan whales, just do a web search. No trips to the library, no waiting on an interlibrary loan for the particular book you need to arrive
What about learning what markets are out there? Or self-publishing options? All there with a little bit of effort.
It’s all so much easier these days than it has ever been before…
All of that is true. And we should be grateful that it is.
But it also means you have to be that much better at what you do. The easier it is to write, the more people who will do it. Which means more competition. Which means to rise above the rest you have to be that much better than ten years ago or twenty years ago.
It has never been easier to be a writer. And it has probably never been as hard to be a successful (as defined by making a living at this) writer as it is today. (Or so it seems to me…)