A Letter to An Aspiring Young Writer Struggling to Make her Way in The World

Srinivas Rao
8 min readFeb 10, 2021

A few weeks ago, one of my readers sent me a beautiful email about her aspirations to become a writer. I saw so much of my younger self in her. I asked her if I could turn her email into a newsletter.

Matt Damon once told an interviewer that when people tell him they want to be an actor, he tries to talk them out of it. When the interviewer asked him why he said, “if I can talk you out of this in conversation, you’re not cut out for this because it’s so hard.”

Even though I’d never try to talk someone out being a writer, there’s a great deal of truth to what Matt Damon said. It is hard because the writing life is one in which nothing is guaranteed, and anything is possible.

It takes bravery and courage to express your fears and concerns, and I commend Arianna for doing it. Exposing your insecurities is a profound act of vulnerability. She was even brave enough to let me mention her by name.

I don’t have advice, only observations. This why I encourage you to read this with a caveat that I share with members of our prime community: Consider the possibility that everything I’ve said here is total bullshit. It might be for you.

How will I write a book when what I’m taught is to look at the world through the lens of a rational money-making machine rather than a writer conveying emotions?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The only reason to be a writer is that you can’t imagine doing anything else. Writing can be like a cruel lover. You pour your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into the blank page, and it gives you nothing back. You can’t help but wonder why bother?

You have to be a writer before you can become an author. Most of my writing doesn’t see the light of day. Those of who you read my writing know about my books and articles. But you don’t know about the millions of words that nobody has ever read:

  • The 63 Page single space autobiography about
Srinivas Rao

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