August 16, 2006
Liz published this at 8:50 am
Let’s Be Honest
Every morning I get up and write blog posts . Then I go do my other writing work. I’ve been writing for a living for very long time. So I feel qualified to write this post. It’s not a rant. It’s a list. It’s a set of things that folks who think they might want to write for a living ought to know before they blindly follow their dream.
The problem with writing is
that, when you start, no one will believe you are a writer.
that all writing jobs takes longer than folks think they will.
that even talent needs ideas.
that getting to a living wage takes time and boring work.
that, when you write well, the finished product looks like it was easy.
that no one cares how hard it was.
that the lifestyle isn’t glamorous.
that the pay can be less glamorous.
that you’re always interrupted in the middle of the perfect thought.
that you’ll probably have to edit your own work.
that, if you get noticed, your mistakes are very public.
that you need to personally invest and be detached.
that you’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know to say things nicely.
that you’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
that you won’t get to follow through on all of your favorite ideas.
that some of your ideas will stink too.
that folks won’t believe their opinion can’t hurt you.
that you won’t be able to explain the thrill of finding a word you spent 3 weeks looking for.
that only other writers will ever really know what it is that you do.
that your significant other may not read anything that you write.
that being a writer can wake you up in the middle of the night.
that it can make you feel stupid.
that no one can help you do it.
that when you have finished, there’s no applause.
that you have finished, you have to do the same thing all over again.
What could possibly be worth that investment?
Writing communicates through across the world, through time, to people I have never met. It captures ideas, inventions, and information. It’s worth it to be even a tiny part of that.
Bet you could add to this list. Why do you write in spite of it?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
It seems I’m always saying “Thank you, Darren.”.