Let’s face it, guys. Writing is hard work. If it isn’t, you’re either a literary genius the like of which is rare in the world today (get the reference, LOTR fans?) or you aren’t doing it right.
Even the professionals say it’s hard work. Some people will say “Oh, well it’s a matter of talent. I don’t have talent, so of course it’s hard for me”. They’re dead wrong. Some writers DO have a talent for writing. I like to think that I do. Some people don’t, though. But the people who don’t write, or don’t write very much, because they think they “don’t have talent”, are fooling themselves. Writing is just as hard for everybody else.
If someone asks what you do and you say “I’m a writer”, the response is usually one of two. Either they say “Oh, cool! What kind of stuff do you write?” or they think “Oh, brother. This guy (or girl) can’t be bothered to find a job, so they’ve decided to become an “artist”.
Ever had that happen?
Well, if you get the first response, your reaction is up to you. I like to proceed to talk their ears off about my writing, but you might want to be more merciful. If you get the second response…………well!
You can tell them just how hard writing really is! Ask them how they liked studying for English finals. Then tell them that that is essentially what you do every day. You have write creatively (always tough to do well), you have to check your own grammar, you have to edit unmercifully, and last of all, you have to know when to stop.
In school, creative writing is not as important as in writing, unless you are specifically taking creative writing. In school, you have a teacher to help with the tough grammar. In school, the teacher will tell you (if you have detailed grade) just what needed more editing. In school, you have a deadline which you can’t continue past, so when time is up, you stop.
Writing a book can be just as tough as a full-time job, if not tougher. Ask that critic why HE hasn’t written a book, if it’s so easy. Writing, unless done as a minor hobby, can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. Be proud of all the “wasted” time you spent slaving away over pen and paper, or keys and screen. All that “wasted” time saw the creation of something special.