I don't know what it is about us writers, but it's almost as if we think writing is something we do when we have the time, when the muse strikes, when we have a deadline that has to be met.
We may not even think of writing as "career" but rather as "hobby."
Now, while I'm the first to admit that some writers consider their own writing a hobby, they are usually the ones that will think of their writing only for themselves. They may share it with family, but not much beyond that.
Still, there are writers who say they want to be published and yet they place their writing at the bottom of their list "after everything else is done."
Take it from me, a writer will never make their writing more than merely a hobby unless they do something about it.
And the doing takes work.
In a nutshell, the writer who takes their writing serious will write every day even when they don't feel like it.
Brush up on their writing through writing classes and books even after they've been published.
Help other writers through mentoring as occasion arises.
Treat their writing like a career even before they've been published.
Call themselves a writer even before they are published.
Will allow others to read, critique and edit their work knowing that any fine advice can be used to better their work.
Will not take it personally when someone doesn't like their work even after it's been edited numerous times and published. They know that just like individuals who pick and choose their friends and often wish they could pick and choose their family, book readers will not like everything they pick up and read.
Getting tough with your writing means speaking up when someone asks you what you do for a living, and deciding to share your writing because it is a 'real' job or a 'real' career.
It it stopping to take a look at where you stand today and where you want to be standing tomorrow, and following through until the end.
It is never giving up; it is never stopping in the middle of the road where there are stones. It is having the courage to move the stones out of the way and continuing on.