A lot of people attribute being a writer to being a novelist. However, there are many ways to be a writer. Tom Verducci, sports writer known for covering the Chicago Cubs, is a great writer. He’s written a few books, all about sports, but just because they aren’t novels doesn’t mean he doesn’t fit in the category. I’m envious of his job though; watching and writing about baseball all day? Outside of being a full-time novelist, that’d be my dream job.
Some days you just won’t have the time, motivation, or energy to work on your novel. It happens and when it does, you have a few options: you can suck it up and push through it or you can write something else. Yes, I purposefully left out “not writing” because it’s not an option, you must write every day in order to improve. Even if you’re only writing a short blog post or making random flash fiction. A big key to writing is consistency. I’m 100% sure that if Carrie hadn’t been picked up as early in Stephen King’s life as it was, he would’ve hit it big with one of the other forty novels he wrote after.
You can’t just write one great book anymore. Being prolific is the name of the game. Have you seen some of the lines in Twilight and Fifty Shades? Absolutely awful writing but if you write a decent plot line and have a number of books out, they can get picked up. You may not make a killing like those two books did, but you can at least pay the light bill if you do it right.
You need to write every day. It’s the only way you’ll make any progress. I try to work on my novel daily but when I don’t, I’m still writing. I either write here and create a blog post, or I write sports articles for LetMeBFrankblog.com. It allows me to stay creative but it also allows me to experiment in different methods of writing and hone my skills. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but all writers must be able to write in more than one way until you’re paying all your bills with one. Practice your writing any way you can. Write 50 word stories, write a 5-page short story, write a 100-page novella. Experiment with different writing styles. Most importantly, write every day.