“Why would anyone in their right mind want to write for a living?”
Nobody wants to write for a living. We do it because we have to. Once we’ve put pen to paper that first time, we’re addicted. The only fix for that addiction is to type out a few pages of a short story or novel.
Those of you who have a passion for writing know exactly what I’m talking about. You carry a pocket-size notebook everywhere you go to write down your thoughts. You carefully observe people for unique mannerisms that then make their way into your characters. You listen in on conversations not because you’re nosy, but because you study how people talk so your dialogue sounds realistic. You can’t watch the news or read a newspaper without getting an idea for a short story or novel. To you, a personal crisis is when you find out that the really awesome scene you thought of last week was already used in another book or movie. To you, writing is not so much a profession as it is a calling.
The reward is not the paycheck. Most writers will be damn lucky if they make enough from writing to pay the bills. No. the reward is seeing your name on the book cover. It’s the thrill of having people read the story you have to tell. It’s hearing from your fans how much they enjoyed reading your story or novel. It’s going to conventions and book signings. It’s watching that one story or novel slowly become a long bibliography.
If you’re nodding your head while reading this, then you’re one of the lucky ones.
Yes. You’re lucky because you’ve answered the call. Like any calling, the road ahead will not always be easy. You’ll have frustrations. You’ll have doubts. And you might even abandon writing for awhile, only to go back to it soon. Writing is that addictive. But the rewards are worth it.
So if you answered the calling, I wish you the best in your endeavor. You’re going to need it.
If just one of you finds enough inspiration in these blogs to write a novel or short story, or picks up some advice that helps you get published, then my efforts were not wasted.
Just remember me when writing the acknowledgment page of your book.
[This blog originally appeared on Dawn's Reading Nook (here) on 5 June 2010.]