Writing as a Calling

By Mark Antony Rossi 

The greatest challenge facing the modern writer is not questionable talent or the shifting publishing industry, those are common misunderstood refrains who hear a lot on social media from people who think their novel on alien invasion — it is the absolute tenacity necessary to make it a priority in your life.

Writing these days is a lot like losing weight it’s not going to happen with excuses about bones or glands. If you don’t build discipline into your habits the writing does not appear. While I’m not a proponent of the tired quota of words per day method (first pushed by Stephen King) even that is a form of literary consistency more useful than hap hazard writing in between work and parental duties.

Writing is about fighting. You have to fight rejection, idiotic family dismissals, sleep, parental guilt and the unseemly task of marketing. Mostly it’s an endeavor you must keep to yourself. The average person you share your writing passion with will not understand what you’re writing, why you’re writing and the enormous sacrifice unsettling your life.

Writing is about sacrifice. You haven’t completed or will complete that book if you haven’t cut hours out of sleep, took time off work, lied about sick days, paid a babysitter to arrange the time to write and edit. These are the normal extremes it takes to pursue writing on a general basis. Some writers have gone further.

Writing is about pain. The writer frequently has to deal or dodge the daily pain of life just long enough to navigate yesterday’s pain dredged up to inspire a soulful passage. This act is stressful and can result in unintentional mood alterations. For all this talk about writing being a blessing or a joy I’d remind you there’s a very big difference between literary writing and articles about domestic pets. Don’t be fooled by happy pimps.

In my thirty four years of writing I’ve seldom come across writers who were bad writers. Talent is abundant in the arts. In today’s world only three types of writer’s gain any real success: the celebrity writer, the connected writer and the 24/7 marketing writer. And that’s it in a nutshell. If you’re not a celebrity the rest requires an enormous push on your part to network, promote, beg and whatever is necessary to get your project noticed. This applies whether you go traditional publishing or self publishing route. The same plan and work ethic is needed if you want a decent chance at exposure.

Writing as a calling is what my life has been about and I would not cast doubt or change anything ever. It has given me purpose and a voice I never would had in any other profession. I feel most proud of a legacy of thoughts, ideas and stories deposited for this digital age. But I couldn’t recommend writing to my children as a profession in good conscience. Writing takes as well as gives and I’d rather have them find a more normal life. I know that’s not a happy ending. But if you’re a true writer — you’ll understand.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.


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  1. Mike Blaylock says:

    Weeeeeell… I’ve been through a lot of what you said……but with age….you learn to say, ..screw it I’m going to write for me to express me….and if that doesn’t fit anybody’s forte…..that’s their loss. If I could wish anything for all the young writers out there…..it would be for them to accept this philosophy at a young age, because you only improve with practice and guidance. The earlier you start, the more you will learn and improve. That’s my thoughts…Have a great day!

  2. Ann Christine Tabaka says:

    This is a great article. It holds much wisdom.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. One of the powers of writing is bringing people together.

  4. Thank you. It shows how writing can bring people together.

  5. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    Had it not been passion, what else could have driven one to choose writing a calling?
    That passion is a bundle of mixed feelings, which only can be felt and experienced, but not expressed!

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