But wait a minute. Being a writer is the easiest job in the world, isn’t it? I mean, all you have to do is:
- Come up with an idea.
- Write down the idea.
- Get published.
The truth is, writing is work – lots and lots of really, really hard work.
Being a writer means digging in, keeping on, never quitting, no matter how hard it gets. It means pushing yourself past the breaking point every single time, but not actually allowing yourself to break.
You push until you find out what the stuff is that you’re made of.
Writers are a special breed and most aren’t afraid to admit being crazy. They endure hours of solitude with the statistical promise of rejection waiting for them. They endure abuse from a little person who actually lives inside their brain (they lovingly call this little person ‘The Muse’ and are totally fine with the idea of that little person screaming insane things that destroys self-confidence).
Sometimes writers sit for hours on end, staring at a blank page. They spend uncounted amounts of time trapped inside themselves with I-am-such-a-failure type thoughts before, suddenly, something happens; finally, mercifully, words begin to flow. It’s crap – and they know it – but it’s still something magical and wonderful.
The act of writing at times may be magic, but the continued practice of it, the stuff that gets something good written, something worth other people’s time – that, my friend, takes nothing but hard work, sweat and tears. Maybe a little blood once in a while too.
It may be a burst of passion – something to light a fire in your belly – that gets you started. But that alone will not sustain it, keep the beast fed. After that initial spark, you’ve just got to bare your teeth and walk head-long into the fire, loosing yourself in the frenzy of work. There’s no trick to it, just work.
You have to work at it, stick to it while everyone else falls by the wayside or until your manuscript is finally finished.
“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need,” says Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, and if that’s right, then true writers would be saints in his eyes.
Writing is work, plain and simple. If you like to think otherwise, you won’t last long. At least, there is no secret to overnight success for writers as far as I’m aware.
However, if you do know of a secret to becoming an overnight sensation please feel free to leave a comment below or drop me an email at fanger[underscore]amanda[at]yahoo[dot]com!