Monday, June 25, 2012

Do You Have What It Takes?

Writing is fun, but it's not easy. It takes long hours, dedication, and the willingness to revise something for the umpteenth time until you (or your agent/editor) are happy with it. 

"I'd like to write a book someday too, when I have the time to fritter away." I got that comment from a well-meaning friend of mine who knows I'm a writer: I think it was the "fritter away" part that actually made my teeth grind together. Writers know that there is no magic time fairy who waves her wand over us and gives us blocks of time that other mere mortals don't have (that would be SO cool though). The difference between people who write books and the people who just talk about writing books is simple. People who write books commit to the writing. 

We write when other people are watching reality shows. We write until the wee hours of the night when everyone else is asleep (long after the caffeine has worn off). We rise at ungodly hours to squeeze in several pages before work or before the kids wake up (long before the caffeine has kicked in.) Even when not writing, we are thinking about writing. Plot issues and characterization get worked out in the shower or while folding laundry. Whether we eek out a paragraph at a time, or multiple pages in a sitting, we keep writing...and writing...until we have a finished book.

We have families, jobs, volunteer commitments, and chores (did I mention laundry?), just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, we commit to telling stories, one sentence at a time. I'm a writer. What about you?

Do you have what it takes? 

6 comments:

  1. If someone said that to me, I'd be pretty pissed. Talk about underestimating the amount of work we put into our stories. Not everyone is cut out to be a writer, like the person who made the comment.

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    1. I think it's a common misunderstanding by people who aren't writers. They don't comprehend how much time it takes to write a good book. I've also heard "Anybody can write a book." This is technically true, but without the commitment piece, it will never get written. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. It is really aggravating when people downplay the work that goes into writing a book. They think it's easy....... they don't get the commitment and dedication, the long hours. The frustration of not knowing why something isn't working.

    Yeah, anyone can write a book, and unfortunately, anyone can publish one. I think the self-publishing industry has made the world think it's easy to write a book....especially when there are so many outlets to publish them.

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    1. I agree that most people who have never written a book don't understand how hard it is.

      However, as far as the self-publishing industry goes, I know multiple self-published authors who work incredibly hard and know that it's far from easy. I spoke with a best-selling self-published author last week (who has an amazing agent BTW), and she said it's even harder to find time to write once you're successful because you're invited to speak at conferences, do interviews, etc. I think people who take their writing seriously, no matter how they're published, get frustrated with public perception of what it takes to write a book.

      And it doesn't help that people think Snooki actually wrote a book herself. Then you hear, "Well, if she can write a book, anyone can." It's hard to explain to people that she didn't do the actual writing. ;)

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  3. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: the Powerful Woman Writer Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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    1. Thanks so much, Deirdra! Your artwork is beautiful, and I'm excited to add it to our blog. Thanks, again. :)

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