it’s about to get real

Confession: I hate it when writers complain about how hard it is to write.

I’m not gonna pretend it’s always easy, as if the moment you sit down, inspiration comes streaming in like sunlight through an open window in summer.

Yes, there are days when you sit and stare at a blank page and it stares back at you, unblinking, trying to suck your soul dry and make you question everything. There are days when it’s incredibly hard work to get words on the page, and even harder work to make sure those words aren’t the worst drivel you’ve ever written. I get that.

But.

It’s a privilege to do what you love. Do you realize how many people get up every morning and go to a job they hate, simply because they don’t feel like they have any other option? That my friends is hard. The occasional day when writing feels like a job instead of a passion ain’t nothin’ in comparison.

(You can tell I feel strongly about something when my southern ghetto side comes out, m’kay chil’?)

How can you possibly sit in a comfy chair at a desk in your home office or at your local coffee shop, creating characters and worlds and plots, and complain about it? You get to do what you love. (And if you don’t love it, stop. Right now. Because your potential readers deserve better.)

I’m gonna go ahead and say that again. Ya’ll better listen up.

You’re working your dream job. Yes, some of you have other jobs and a lot of times those “gotta pay the bills” jobs aren’t the most fun. But it’s writing you complain about?

Unh-unh. Not on my watch. I’m callin’ you out.

Of course it’s not easy. Do you think it would be as meaningful if writing a book were as simple as alphabetizing files? I’m glad it’s hard. It weeds out the casual hobbyists from the in-it-for-lifers. It forces us to be better, to push past the difficulties, and makes us appreciate the easy days so much more.

Even on the worst days, when you’re stuck in revision hell or you have a plot that’s unraveling faster than your latest attempt at knitting, you get to live a dream, a passion. You chose this life and it chose you. And that, ladies and gents, is an honor.

So I’m holding us to a higher standard. I’m challenging writers to stop whining and, well, write. We have the best job in the world (in my humble opinion 😉 ) and an entire sea of opportunities for growing and reaching people with our art.

Shame on us for complaining when the words don’t come as quickly as we’d like.

So let’s stop sharing our heartbreaking writing woes on Facebook and Twitter, and go write something like it’s a beautiful gift we’re meant to share with the world. Because it may very well be.

2 Comments

  1. rachel m
    Jan 31, 2015 @ 14:28:39

    I agree with this post one hundred percent. Writers have so much to be grateful for: even in the tough times like a blank page or a series of rejection letters. Let’s face it, writers who are able to support themselves merely by writing are a minority. For the rest of us, we must work in order to provide the resources to fuel our passion. Writing can be isolating. Writing can be exhausting; but what a gift the passion to write is. What a gift a community of writers and readers are. I think we need community and support, yes, but I think a lot of our whining and insecurities can be shared privately. For the great population, let us talk about the beauty that is writing, let us inspire others to pick up pens or flip open laptops and experience the exhilarating and frustrating journey full force!

    Reply

    • halee
      Jan 31, 2015 @ 14:39:32

      Yes! That’s a great point – the general public will judge the profession based on how we present it. So let’s show them the beauty, the passion of artistry. I’m not advocating a lack of honesty or over-the-top cheerfulness, simply a little perspective, along with gratitude for the chance to pursue an incredible dream, even when the path gets a bit rocky. And maybe, just maybe, by pursuing our dreams in front of everyone, we can encourage others to recognize and pursue their own.

      Reply

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