1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    How long have YOU been writing?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Tesoro, Sep 11, 2011.

    I just came across a funny quote:

    "Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years,

    sawing wood is what you were intended for."

    Mark Twain

    How long will you give writing, if you intend on get your work published? As long as it takes? Or have you put a time-limit to it? Like, "If I won't get published before the age of X I will give it up". Somehow I think that many of us will (and have already) give it a lot more than 3 years. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    I've been writing mostly seriously since the end of freshman year of high school (so two years and change); I'll never give up writing as such, but if I can't get anything published by the end of my undergrad I'd probably give up on it as a monetary enterprise.
     
  3. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Since late November last year...Though I have been through writing phases when I was 9/10 but never as long as this one...I don't see myself giving up any time soon, even if I don't get published. Things like this, sometimes, I just like to do it for myself or for fun.
     
  4. Gracia Bee
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    Gracia Bee Member

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    I've been writing ever since i was 5 and wrote a story on talking flowers and magic. It was preety crap. I would NEVER give up writing for ANYTHING!!!!!!! i love it and if i dont get published WHO CARES??!! its fun :)
     
  5. Faerytale
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    Faerytale New Member

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    I've written bits and pieces since I could write, but I started on my first serious endeavor a year or so ago. I don't plan on giving up any time soon.
     
  6. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    I write for fun. If I get paid to do it, cool, I'll take it.

    I have been writing since late middle school.
     
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  7. nowordswriter
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    nowordswriter Member

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    I still remember finding short stories scribbled into tiny notebooks when I was around 6 or 7, just a year or so after I learned those funny looking symbols in my picture books meant something.

    I don't think I'll stop writing... even if it's not the only career I would have. But life is long and you never know where it will take you, so the variety in careers is an inevitability.

    In short, I think I'll get published when I get published. Meanwhile, I'll keep on writing or sewing, who knows, I've always fancied myself a good singer or finally learn how to draw properly
     
  8. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    To be honest, that notion is ridiculous to me. I've been writing since I could read, and no-one has paid me for it, yet. But I'm going to keep doing it, no matter what. I don't believe in failure, because I'm not going to give up until I succeed :)
     
  9. another wasted day
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    another wasted day Member

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    Since I could read and write. Since the age of five or six I guess.
     
  10. jnk1296
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    jnk1296 Member

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    I've not really cared for writing up until this last March, when I suddenly realized how much I actually liked it. Since then, I've been working on my first novel, which I'm very much enjoying. When will I stop? Not until I lose interest, and with the way things have gone so far, I don't foresee that happening for a long time.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm fifty now. I received a rejection letter from the science fiction magazine Analog when I was fourteen. I was writing for a few years before then, too.

    But since that rejection letter, I haven't submitted anything anywhere. And somewhere in there I spent fifteen years or so not writing. But I'm back at it now, because I like it better than engineering.

    I suppose I'd have a chance at more success if I actually submitted some of my work somewhere, wouldn't I?
     
  12. heyitsmary
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    heyitsmary Member

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    I've been writing since I could read. I decided about five years ago that I wanted to at least attempt to make money from it.
     
  13. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Pretty much since forever as a hobby, but I started seriously writing in 4th grade.
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I've been writing since I was about eight. Writing seriously since about fourteen. Writing with a view to getting published since I was in my first year of university (aged 18). And I managed to get published in my second year (aged 19).

    I actually don't agree with the quote in the OP. I think if you're a writer, you're a write, and you'll want to write regardless of publishing success. I know that's true in my case. It depends on whether or not a person is submitting, the frequency with which they're submitting, and what they are submitting. One of my favourite authors frequently posts on his blogs excellent stories, which were shunned by editors because of controversial content/themes.
     
  15. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    Exact same for me!
     
  16. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure how long exactly. My parents said I'd been scribbling away as long as they could remember. I probably started seriously writing when I was eleven or something but I don't know. I've just always been writing. As far as getting published goes, I haven't really tried to. I've submitted a couple of things half-heartedly with no success, and I aim to submit things but then never get round to it.

    As far as the quote goes, I disagree with it. If you're only writing to get published, well I don't think that's a good reason to write. You should write because you want, need, to not to make money. It'd be like saying 'I'll only play tennis if I'm going to become a professional tennis player'. If your writing gets published, then great, but being published isn't everything when it comes to writing even though we all dream of it (well, I do aha). And define 'published'. You can easily get published now if you post your writing on a blog but is that really published? Not to sound too dramatic, but I'll write as long as I live, regardless of whether I get published or not.
     
  17. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    On the walls of my mother's uterus you'll see cave drawings.
     
  18. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I've been writing bits and pieces from a young age. Very much on and off. Most everything was just 'for my own eyes only'.

    I've written one experiment of a novel, which is completed, and which I will 'self publish' (in reality print some copies for my use, after
    some people around me asked me to, and because my cousin's publisher offered to).

    What the future holds, I don't know. I'll write some more I expect.
     
  19. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    re: Mark Twain
    I disagree.

    I've been writing for around 46 years, since I was about 6. I've been paid for my efforts from time to time. I'll probably be found dead at my futuristic laptop-equivalent when I'm about 90, like Jean Plaidy, breathing her last at her typewriter on yet another cruise...
     
  20. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I've been writing for, ooh, about a week! So I'm a long way from even thinking about dreaming about being paid for my writing.

    I wonder if things were different in Mark Twain's time; I imagine there were fewer aspiring writers and therefore less competition, so if you were decent you had a good chance of getting paid for your work. Having said that, there are plenty of artists and probably writers too, who didn't earn anything from their work during their lifetime but since their death have been discovered and become popular, so I still disagree with the statement. And, just because you're intended for sawing wood there's no reason you can't write on the side!
     
  21. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with you on disagreeing with Mark Twain.
    Especially because I think writing is something that it takes time to master to the point where you get your work published and three years might not be enough for everyone, it mostly served as a reason to hear your views on the writing life. As for myself I have pretty much the same start as Banzai:
    although I wasn't really serious as a writer at 14, I just happened to figure out I really liked it, even though I had no intention of ever publishing my work. It felt just as impossible as if I should have published my diary! I got really serious in my writing just last summer, so it's been a little over a year that i've been trying to write fiction. And I think that now that I've really am serious about it, no matter if I'll ever get published i will keep writing anyway! it's not something that depends on that instant acknowledgement (publishing) it's stronger than that. Sure, I work with the goal to one day seeing my stories in print, but that definitely isn't going to happen If I give up before then ;) thanks for sharing your point of view on this, is was really nice to read. :)
     
  22. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read it as Twain meaning three years, from a point when one is already 'acceptable' in the craft, and trying to pursue it 'seriously'.
    Still, it's a bit arbitrary.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you mean seriously, as a career, i've been doing that since 1982... nearly 30 years...

    but i was writing for publication as far back as 1954-56, when i was a columnist and editor for my high school newspaper... which makes it over a half-century!
     
  24. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I started writing seriously while I was in university, both fiction and non-fiction. I've work as a freelance art writer for about a year now, and it's really great, but I find fiction incredibly hard to write and it takes an insurmountable effort to get anything at all on the page, so I don't do that so often (and when I do it usually gets deleted right away because it just isn't interesting enough).

    I think from a professional standpoint, Twain's quote is sensible; most people aren't good enough to make it as professional writers, so if no one has noticed your talent after three years of showing your work, the reason is probably because you don't have any. By all means, continue to write for yourself, and continue to try, but I doubt there are many genuinely brilliant writers nowadays who could go three years without having someone pick up their work.
     
  25. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    I started writing seriously at 13 (thanks to my friends being in detention and me being the only person at our usual haunt - the school library - waiting for them). So I've been writing 9 years. I'd say I only found my voice and a style I'm content with in the last year or two. Previously it was all a bit inconsistent and low-quality. My problem now is sitting down and writing for prolonged periods (though I do average about 3,000 words a week).
     

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