Writing isn’t a choice

Whoever told you that it was, must count the description of their ebay bid as writing. I write because I must. This isn’t new or unique to me as an author. I have heard this before and completely agree. Who would choose a career that takes years (usually) to see professional results? Writing often makes us reclusive individuals. I personally have a reputation for never having my cell phone charged, and forget calling the land line…I don’t answer it anyway (those of you who know me, hush).
How many times do you have to decline invitations before others stop inviting you places? How often do you find yourself in the awkwardness of trying to explain what your epic fantasy novel is about, to loved ones who don’t read the genre…if you’re me, the answer is quite often. Its somewhat like trying to explain global warming to a toddler. They don’t understand the world you are describing, let alone the cause and effect aspects of a plot involving creatures they can’t comprehend. It could be entertaining were it not for the uncomfortable silence that always ensues (Followed of course by…’Isn’t that nice, dear. Be sure to send me a signed copy when its published’).
Equally as vexing is the completely errant beliefs of those who have no idea how very little an author makes. No, having a book published doesn’t mean I can quite my day job and buy you a car…or anything else requiring money for that matter.
The odds are the most staggering thing for me. Consider how few books are on the shelves in Barnes and Noble. Now, narrow that down further by cutting everything out but your specific genre. Then, take into account how many authors submit their work on a weekly basis. Lastly, do get yourself a drink to hopefully counter how sobering this realization is. A kind of gut hollowing silence always follows my thoughts of this nature, that reminds me why I write at all…because I must.
I write because I can’t fathom doing anything else with my time. I love the worlds I create, and even more so, the characters that populate them. The good, the bad and the ugly. One of my favorite characters in my current project is the darkest personality I’ve ever written.
I write because it is what fuels my soul. No writer, regardless of how seasoned, can spit out a perfect manuscript upon first draft. There isn’t an agent or editor alive who can predict the future (though same may try), so though you may not be ready as an author now…you may mature in your own voice enough to share your creations with the world. Only you can make that determination.
It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to give up. It is much harder to continue to have faith in your words when others have made judgments that you know are accurate. Try to see what exists beyond the static of a manuscript in need of work…don’t trash it. It may be drivel…now. That has no bearing on what it will be later. Your will determines that.

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4 responses

  1. I agree 100% and I love hearing this opinion echoed. Especially about becoming reclusive. I dream of quitting my job and living in the woods for 3 or four months, away from all distractions. If only…

  2. Writing isn’t something that we choose, it chooses us. I’m like you, even though I enjoy taking a break from writing every once in awhile, its also what makes me feel alive. If I don’t write, I’m not me. I’m sorry that I’m not doing something that automatically brings in the money, but if I were I’d be miserable. At least this way, I’m happy. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to throw in the towel, but if you do that then you are doing yourself an injustice. You aren’t being the person you were meant to be. Well, enough of my own rant. I just wanted you to know I totally agree with you 🙂

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