Yes, I haven't posted in forever, but the good news: I have been blogging! *pause for wide-eyed disbelief*
Yeah, obviously not here but blogging elsewhere and research for said blog has lead me to more people. And, unfortunately, more people who bring up the writing in my life.
Most commonly, people think writers sit at a desk, type and publish.
Which sometimes is the case. (Part of my blogging is not edited. Sorry. But you guessed it.)
Other people think everyone's a writer. And that's true. I always chuckle but it's true. Most people can write and lots of people have ideas.
Then there are thin slices of people who ask about my book deal. I mean, I've finished several stories, right?
Cue the nervous puking.
Off and on, I write this post in a flurry, in a hurry to explain exactly what it means to be a writer.
Then one thing or another cools me down and I stop.
Like: who am I to know this is every experience?
But I'm one of those writers. I didn't start writing because I wanted to write a bestseller or be published. When you're in kindergarten, you tend to be unaware of a lot of things.
That's right. Before I knew the whole alphabet--without singing it--I wrote.
Every morning, mom would stand me on her bed and dress me for school. All the while, I'd watch Sailor Moon and all her kick-ass glory.I wanted that excitement and heart-fluttery feeling all the time.
I didn't own a camera, I didn't know how to draw, my doll games would exist only in a moment then vanish, never to be seen again but I had crayons and markers and pencils and old art projects.
That's how I started writing. It's a love that's never faded. (And is cheaper than arranging actors, screenplays, and cameras.)
Similar stories play around the writing community. They found words and that was it. Love at first sight.
But writers seem to be 'in' now. Call it Twilight Fever or whatever. I don't know the reason but people will, casually, say, 'Oh, I have a story idea.'
And those of us who know the scene, think, 'crap. Now I have to feign interest and be encouraging.'
Though, usually, whoever says they have an idea want praise for the idea alone. No one's going to sign you for an idea. Everyone, creative or not, gets ideas. And the premise doesn't sell books either. WRITING does.
I know. Strange that a writer should have to write. It's incredible, I know.
I'm not saying this to discourage any wannabe bestsellers. Plenty of people found writing later in their lives and found direction. Plenty of people have probably adjusted their attitudes and become bestsellers.
But, as the teacher from All Grown Up said to Angelica, 'So many writers began with, well, writing.'
If there's no driving force urging you to finish the story, think about your brain-sparkle idea. If you have these ideas and they never catch fire, no matter how long you wait, it might not come.
If you don't enjoy writing, trust me, there are no rewards.
I am unpublished, unagented, a nobody but I write everyday. And it's been ages since I started. I'm aware I might never make it.
Check your reasons for writing.
In reality, we don't all get 6 figures. Some of us, if at all published, never go beyond self-pub or the publish button on our blogs, and do you even know my name?
Look at all the books at the store. How many names have you seen on the big screen or on the lineup for talk shows?
For writers who have writing in their veins, they go to bed late thinking about that scene and giddy--no matter how bad the night went--to get up in the morning and write again. Some of us dream up solutions and wake up thinking about writing.
Every time you see a writer staring off into space, they're thinking about writing (...or who on Earth they forgot at school. (Guilty.))
We love the extensive research (things as tiny as grass kinds and cities and towns we never end up using or seeing;) we love the endless outlining and we adore the long hours.
We love reading for research, love taking notes.
It's not always love but love is a driving force. If it sounds like marriage, that's because it is. Commitment, loyalty, etc., all that jazz.
You can't be a writer if you can't write. You can't write if you don't love what you're doing. And if you don't love writing, I don't know why you are.
So think about it. Writing isn't as luxurious as the media makes it seem.