Friday, March 28, 2014

The Writer's Guide to Life

This should be inscribed in the Preface of the Writer's Guide to Life:  You are not alone.

It's such a simple statement yet so difficult for anyone addicted to writing to fully grasp.  Consider this: A writer sits in a dark room, sharing their innermost thoughts in solitude, except for, perhaps an unsympathetic cat or two, and pours words, words, words into the machine, onto the paper, or into a microphone. There is no cheering crowd at the writer's back, urging them ever onward, no coach on the sidelines shouting encouragement, and no boss to come by and tell you that you are doing a good job. Nope: You get buttkas for the hours spent hammering on your writer's anvil, save blurred vision, a bad back, and perhaps too much of a need for caffeine (should there be a deadline involved.)

But know this: Out there in the real world there are thousands of writers just like you - thousands! They are all brothers and sisters of the word, who struggle with their personal demons, fight the endless self-doubts, and agonize over every rejection, dismissal, or refusal that comes their way. Yes, they may be of your kind, but they are also your enemy and competition, the hated authors who unknowingly flaunt their successes in your face.   You know who I'm talking about.  Their names appear on the covers of books and magazines, they sit on panels at conventions, they get interviewed, and they travel to exotic locations "for background."  You hate them. You love them. You envy them. You wish they would die, die, die so your works would stand a bit more of a chance of acceptance from the editors.

And yet you sincerely and heartily wish them continued success.

The ease with which your fellow writers produce their works is an illusion, you know.  They are just like you in every way.   None of them never, ever created anything memorable without putting forward considerable effort.  Their work appears effortless only because you only see their headlines, their successes, and their fame.  What you don't see is the mountain of creativity that they had to climb.  Their private failures and disappointments are hidden and personal, away denying your perception and understanding.   Every writer has hopes and fears, battles the endless self-doubt, and lives with the constant fear that their muse might suddenly disappear into regions from which there can be no return.  Writers always worry about death, and more so if it should happen before their damned novel is finished.

The Writer's Guide to Life ends with these words:  Keep writing, keep hoping, and know that you are not alone.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!