Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's a lonely job . . .

..but somebody's got to do it.

My writer's lonely life is full of self-inflicted misery.  I set arbitrary deadlines and worry constantly that I won't meet them. I worry that my production word rate is too low. I worry that all the other writers out there are spilling out volumes to my paltry few pages. I worry that what I write won't ever sell! I worry that my ideas have dried up. I worry that I won't get to all the ideas that pour into my mind.  I worry about ...well, damn near everything.

All of the above is done in a semi-darkened room as I fill the blank screen with words, words, words, and more words.  My eyes glaze over as I read the same line for the hundredth time (and still miss the obvious typo my editor will immediately spot.)  I look at each tiny check and wonder why it is so small in comparison with the effort expended.  I swear a half dozen times a year that I will give this up and quit, that the world already has too damn many writers and all of them are after MY markets!

But when the words I've crafted appear in some professional setting, when someone comes up to me and says they enjoyed the piece, or when I get an acceptance from the editor, all that angst disappears, at least for a moment.

I doubt that I am the only one beset with these internal conflicts, who curse their writer's affliction but cannot stop. Neither can I suggest any remedy to the problem.  For those trying to support themselves on their writing this must be hell.  For those of us to whom writing is a hobby, the hell is only of a lesser degree.

So for all my suffering comrades who are afflicted by the writing curse, who can't stop the flow of ideas or the doubts, those who  appreciate the well-turned phrase, and suffer in silence, know this:  The fears, doubts, and misery will never stop, not even if you write ten million stories.  It is the price of being what we are. It is the price of being a writer.

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