Random Thoughts

Writing is a tough job.  There are no hard and fast rules beyond the basic grammar and spelling rules.  Even those can be bent at times, if the story calls for it.  What works for one writer is the wreckage of another writer’s effort, even if their styles are similar.  There isn’t a plan, a guideline, a schematic for a book.  You have to plunge along, trying to come up with dialogue that feels natural, trying to keep your narration from sounding stilted.

I’ve not been able to figure out a 100% sure-fire method for kicking one’s “muse” into action.  The only way to get the work done is to “plug away” at it, whittling to completion it by bit.  It’s not fun, but then, if writing were always easy and fun, everyone would be a writer.  It’s not easy.  Even when it is fun, it’s still not easy.  People will laugh at you if you say “I’m a writer, but I haven’t been published yet”.  I can’t fathom the reason for this, but it’s true.

They always seem to think you’d be better off cramming in a college dorm somewhere.  It doesn’t matter what you major in (it could be Martian biology, for all they care) as long as you’re in school.  But the minute they discover you’re spending your time writing…well, then you lose all credibility.  You could explain ’till you’re hoarse that a lot of famous authors did pretty much what you’re doing, but it goes in one ear and out the other.  If you’re not published and making money, you’re just wasting your time in a foolish way.

If you try telling them that writing is one of the hardest things you’ve ever done…brace yourself for the disbelieving look and the subsequent bellow of laughter.   In fact, I recommend keeping that to yourself.  So, you ask, how do I get people to take my writing seriously?

There’s two possible avenues; get published, or find people who do it themselves.  Even though our society takes pride in it’s “tolerance”, you’ll find it’s remarkably difficult for people to take you seriously unless you’re making a fair amount of money.  It’s just a fact of life.  Sell your book and people will take it seriously.  Otherwise, you’re just a kid (or adult) that doesn’t know how the real world works.

If you find people who do it themselves…that’s a different story.  They KNOW how hard it is.  Even if they don’t do it anymore, or never managed to publish a book, they know.  Their reasons for continuing or for dropping the career are probably completely different from yours, but they understand how hard writing is.  They know it’s capable of taking as much (or more) time out of your life as a real job.  It’s also capable of being much, much more miserable.

Anyway…if this went over the top somewhere, sorry.  I decided to think out loud for a minute.  Was it interesting?


3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. So close to the truth of my own experience!

  2. Sadly, i think there are a lot of people out there who just go to work, come home, eat food, and go to bed, maybe watch some t.v in between or whatever. I’ve always read books, from a really young age, i can remember my first ever proper book, Gerry the Giraffe and while it may not be up there literature wise it got me hooked, likely because of linked family memories etc, but if someone was even giving away a book i’d be there ready to devour it. I’ve read Treasure Island and loved it, i’ve read horrors and Enid Blyton, David Gemmel and Peter F Hamilton, all i’d like to do is write a book that i would enjoy reading myself. Okay…random reply all done! 🙂

  3. Quite so. It’s very difficult for our 9 to 5 society to understand that “success” and “a good life” aren’t measured in money made and spent. Writing is one of the most amazing things I’ve done. After boat-building, that is. 😉

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