How to Transform from “Starving Artist” to Confident Writer by Kirsten McNeill · Writer’s Fun Zone

How to Transform from “Starving Artist” to Confident Writer by Kirsten McNeill · Writer’s Fun Zone

writer by Kirsten McNeill” src=”” alt=”How to Transform from “Starving Artist” to Confident writer by Kirsten McNeill” width=”300″ height=”300″ srcset=” 300w,×80.png 80w” data-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px”/>Let’s welcome back Kirsten McNeill as she shares with us “How to Transform from “Starving Artist” to Confident writer” Enjoy!


“I wouldn’t call myself a writer. It’s more like an expensive hobby.”

“I do it for the passion. It’s not possible for me to be a household name.”

If you’ve ever said or thought these words (or something similar), you may be strengthening the starving artist cliché.

It’s not your fault. 

It’s what you’ve been taught to do through pop culture and comments from people in your life who are not writers.

Many people view artists and creative types in a constant state of struggle. Writing is simply a hobby that will never go anywhere, right?


It is 100% percent possible to be a full-time writer without constant struggle.

You can have everything you want, but if you’re not supported or shown a path to get there, it’s discouraging.

Where does this starving artist cliché come from?

What can we do to abolish it? 

These are big questions, but if you want to be a full-time writer with a confident mindset, it’s worth exploring.

To transform from starving artist to confident writer, call yourself a successful writer and educate those around you on what that means.

The Subliminal Messaging

Are you a fan of the show New Girl?

Nick Miller is the resident writer on the show, taking years to write his zombie novel. He’s the epitome of the struggling artist.

In Gossip Girl, Dan Humprey doesn’t even submit his own book, and yet he becomes an overnight success in the Upper Eastside.

Then we have D.C. Parlov, the fantasy author in Brooklyn 99 (who I’m 99% sure is inspired by George R.R. Martin). He’s already a famous person, shown partying and living well in his lavish home.

Each of these characters represent an extreme version of what is possible for an author. 

I use television shows as examples because these references are more quickly accessible.

We’re exposed to them through memes on social media and not everyone reads books, so those who don’t understand what it’s like to be an author learn through television.

But where’s the in between? 

Where’s the story of the author who is not struggling but also not a household name?

We’re not exposed to that in T.V. because it’s not “show biz worthy”.

T.V. writers don’t tell stories about writers who are doing fine with no conflict, just like you don’t write about characters brushing their teeth and going to work with nothing bad happening to them.

That story doesn’t engage the reader. It’s not creative storytelling.

When I was in high school, I took an aptitude test to see what type of career I should have.

I already knew I wanted to be a writer, so I purposefully chose answers that ensured writer would hit my top spot.

The moment I read the word writer on the screen, my teacher came up to me and tugged on the hood of my jacket.

“What are you going to do to buy clothes and put food on the table in the meantime?” he said.

Immediately, he was teaching me that even though the aptitude test said writer was the best career for me, I shouldn’t do it.

You won’t be able to buy clothes or food if you work as a writer

Instead of helping me create a plan to succeed, he basically scoffed and said, “Good luck!”

This attitude is the result of the stories we’re exposed to about what it takes to be a writer.

What Does the In Between Look Like?

Being a successful writer IS POSSIBLE, but it may look differently than you expected.

It starts with figuring out what type of writing life you’re aiming for.

If you want to be a full-time writer, make it happen. Don’t let the media control your expectations.

The more books you have published, the more visibility you gain which equals more income.

That visibility can only come if you never stop talking about your books, though!

If you’re self-published, you have a lot more control in the decision making process.

You choose your prices and how much profit you make.

You choose which authors and readers you want to connect with.

You choose how to talk about your writing journey with those who don’t understand it.

The self-publishing industry is a business.

What makes a successful business? 

Multiple revenue streams.

On top of all the incredible books you’re going to publish, what else can you do to increase income?

  • Offer services like beta reading, cover design, or teaching opportunities to share your expertise.
  • Create products like bookmarks and tote bags (these also make good freebies, so you could have a range of free and paid products).
  • Connect with industry professionals for affiliate partnerships.

Find a range of products and services based on your skillset that build income and community. 

Just like you’re not alone on the writing journey, you’re not alone as you build your book business.

Keep brainstorming ways you can fulfill your dream of being a full-time writer!

You don’t have to struggle and you don’t have to be world famous.

What do YOU want? 

Find your in between.

Build Your Desired Writing Lifestyle

Stephen King spent years being rejected by publishers. J.K. Rowling could barely afford to support her family. Look at them now! Your success is a possible outcome. Know what success looks like for you.

Others may influence you, telling you what’s possible for your life, but they’re just basing their advice on their own opinions and experiences.

If they can’t see what’s possible for YOU, show them.

Speak up.

Educate people so the entire world changes its views on creative writers.

If you want to be a successful writer, expose yourself to positive influences. 

Find the best supports to help you break away from the Starving Artist cliché and transform into a Confident writer who achieves what others perceive as impossible.



Kirsten McNeill is a Confidence & Writing Lifestyle Coach, Book Editor, and Self-Published writer. Her mission with Worthy Writers Editing is to bring sunflower sunshine to the creative world connecting writers to the confidence and passion they desire to help them publish and share their stories.



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Recommended Reading:

On Writing by Stephen King

The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F*** by Mark Manson

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