Monday, March 6, 2017

Writing Is Hard

It can be one of the most torturous, mind numbing, wonderful, fantastic things ever. Writing is one of the biggest challenges, I've ever undertaken. It's lots of work, it's lots of self-doubt, and in the end it's just one big risk with no guarantee of a payoff of any kind. You don't pick a career as a writer because you want to get rich quick, you do it because you love to create. You do it because you have a love of the process and because you have stories you want to tell. You don't so much become a writer as you put yourself through self flagellation of reading about your craft, learning non-stop, and then writing your own words onto the page only to read them and think to yourself. How does Stephen King Do it? Or How does Jim Butcher Do it? You read your words and think to yourself, what was I thinking!? Then you do it all over again, with each new page. 

Writing a book, be it a novella, a short story, or even a whole novel, is very hard work. It's something you do because you have a passion for it. I can almost remember the first time I wrote a story, it was in elementary school, and it was a class assignment, and outside of music, it sparked something inside me. I enjoyed doing it. Before that the only thing I enjoyed was creating music anyway I could do it. I came from a very poor family so I had to learn to do with what I had at that moment. 

Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, has said in the past that when you first get started, it's ok to suck for awhile. I agree with him. When you first get started writing you are going to suck, and that's ok. In fact I feel that it's required that you just suck, because that is how we learn. We do something it sucks, and then we learn from that, we learn how to do it better so it doesn't suck so much the next time around. 

Being a writer means that at first you're looking for the time to write, 50 words here, 100 words there, all so you can feel like you are making progress on your great american novel. Then once you're done with it, you find out that you have to either self-publish, or you have to find an agent, who then might take you on, only to then maybe get picked up my a publisher, only to get maybe 10% royalty. Unless you self-publish with Amazon and you can now get 70% if you price over $2.99. However even that has it's issues, because now you have to decide if you want to be part of the Amazon Unlimited program which means you can only have your book on Amazon, and then if someone does get your book that way, you will only get page for each page that person reads. So you better make sure there are some good words on those pages. 

So yeah, Writing is hard, but it's so worth all the stress, and headaches that come with being a writer. The creative process is and can be so fulfilling, that all that other stuff is just part of the package of being able to do something that you love, because it allows you to express yourself and create something that hopefully ends up being pretty special.  

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