Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's a Hard Knock Life

   Writing isn't for the faint of heart. You'll hear that a lot from writers--those who make it and those who don't. That's because it's true. Writing is NOT easy. An idea striking you and taking over your brain--not so hard--but sitting down and finishing it? That takes guts my friend. And whisky splashed into your mug of tea. Lots and lots of whisky. In fact, probably just skip the tea and go for the whisky (But keep it in a mug, keeps it classy!) .

      People who don't write or aren't writers, will say things like "well, just do it, it's not that hard to sit down and write!!" If we could just 'do it', a lot of us would have six novels out by now. Just do it. I bot hate and love that phrase. It gets me out of bed in the morning and makes me face fears, but when it comes to writing, that little phrase daunts me. I sit down at my computer already loathing to have to write because I'm not feeling inspired and the little Drill Sargent in my brain (no idea how he got there) says "c'mon maggot, just DO IT!" And then I rebel because I don't like being told what to do--especially when I'm not inspired. I wish it were as easy as just 'doing it'.

      I'm not a published author yet. I'm struggling and frustrated most of the time because I know I'm good and I can't catch a break. Being at the right place at the write (get it?! 'write'!?) time is hard. It's sheer freggin' luck! My luck at the moment seems to have left me for Margaritaville. So I sit here at my computer trying to will myself to write and not able to do so, and then getting frustrated that I can't write even when I tell myself "just do it!". Half the time I want to give up. I want to throw my hands up in the air, or unleash the Godzilla I have stashed away in my closet upon the world whenever I see a book published that's poorly written. But they get picked up because they have the same feel of  "Hunger Games" or "The Fault in Our Stars". If its something different? No thanks. That's REALLY discouraging.

      If you're not failing you're not growing. That's true too, sometimes. You have to fail to get better. But failing because of other peoples lack of vision is another topic entirely and I won't rant it here. The point is, I'm okay with failing due to my own mistakes, but failing because I'm being knocked down by people who are too scared to take a chance? That's just galling. But as a writer you get told 'no' a lot. Like, A LOT. More than an OCD mom shouting that you can't eat food standing on the white floors they just cleaned for the upteenth time that day. WAY more than that. And you have to keep going and pushing and begging and fighting to get into the literary door. You have to have a thick skin and a good left hook.

      So why do I keep doing it? Why do any of us keep doing it? Why do we write, hold down jobs we don't like, agonize over our characters and plot, redo our book 400 times even though we might not ever get picked up or sell more than 3 books? Why don't we just give up if its so hard and so hopeless? Because we have to. It's not a choice to be a writer. It's no even a calling. It's literally the ONLY thing that keeps us sane at the end of the day. Pissed off at your boss? Kill some one who looks an awful lot like them in a book. Need love and can't find it? Write a scene. We write because its how we live. We can't imagine doing anything else in the world. I know I can't.

      Over the past couple of months I've seriously questioned if I should keep perusing writing. Recently many of my friends are getting married, having babies, advancing exponentially in their careers, making a bajilion dollars, and doing amazing things while I sit at my computer and bash my head against a desk waiting for my muse to come back from her coffee break. Yet even with all this doubt, when I said to myself  "maybe I should stop writing and just get an office job" I would shy away from the thought. Deep down I know I HAVE to write. I have to. There's no other option for me. I would wither away and die without words. Without the ability to write them. But man is it hard watching the world pass you by  when you feel like everything you do is for nothing.

     Writing is not for the faint of heart. Seriously.


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