Being a writer has its ups and downs. In fact, it’s probably why writers (and other creative types) often have to live with riding the excessive emotional roller-coaster that comes from straddling reality and fantasy.
I don’t think people choose to be writers. They either are or they aren’t. So, if you are feeling the pull drawing you to becoming a writer, here are some thoughts about it from me.
Why I HATE being a Writer
☆ The lows are crippling and can leave you exhausted, angry, saddened and heart-weary for days, weeks, months… or longer.
☆ Most people will just not understand you in the most fundamental of ways.
☆ There are moments of loneliness that can get right in between the cracks. They are usually during times of writer’s block where even your characters stop talking to you.
☆ People will often think you are mad when they catch you talking to yourself or describing the murder of a character. Expect the furtive looks and the shuffling of feet as they move away from you.
☆ The perfectionist in you will never be happy with what you write.
☆ You have to gag the perfectionist in order to move forward… and that can be agony.
☆ When you write something bad you are convinced you will never get better.
☆ When you write something awesome you are convinced you will never exceed it.
☆ Some of your friends and family will consider your writing a “non-job” and a waste of time.
☆ A100 positive reviews/comments will never wipe away a single negative review/comment.
☆ After you bleed your soul into your manuscript you get to fling it into the world where the wolves will tear it to pieces.
Why I LOVE Being a Writer
☆ The highs are incredible. To get swept up in the story and the lives of the people you create, to live in the worlds you built. There is nothing quite like it.
☆ Someone will understand you. Whether you are lucky enough to have a partner, friend, fan or another writer you just met, someone will understand you.
☆ You get to live the lives of a thousand people. You get to share their joys, loves, sorrows in a rich tapestry.
☆ Writer’s block is temporary (no matter if at the time it doesn’t feel like that) and once the block is passed there is usually something better waiting on the other side.
☆ You are lucky enough to have people in your head to talk to as you muddle through the scenes and plots of your story. You get to sit among them and work out where to go in the story. (You get to plot murder without any uncomfortable conversations with the police.)
☆ The perfectionist in you will help to drive you on so you get your manuscript to a well-polished level.
☆ Learning to curb the perfectionist is a good skill to have and while it can be agony, it’s another step in the writer’s journey.
☆ When you write something bad, you will eventually write something better.
☆ When you write something awesome… you will revel in it and then, eventually write something better.
☆ The more you write, the less you will care about what people think of your so-called “non-job”. You will remind yourself you write for the love and passion for writing and anything beyond that (published, a book deal, royalties) is a bonus. 🙂
☆ After you bleed your soul into your manuscript you get to fling it into the world there will be people who will love you for it. People who will fall in love with your characters and will cherish the story you created.
☆ You get to delve into the deepest reaches of your imagination and create wonders.
☆ You get to paint the world with words and inspire others.
☆ You get to tell the story you always wanted to read.
☆ Your greatest power is your imagination. It is the song of the soul and writers’ have access to that unlimited well.
For all the reasons I hate being a writer, I would never want to be anything else. I cherish even the parts that drive me crazy, that leaves me lonely and aching and frustrated. It is the wonderfully devastating life we writers lead.
We live a rainbow of emotions through our characters.
We grieve, we scream, we ache, we love, we crave, we cry, we laugh, we smile, we wonder, we dream and it happens over and over.
It takes ‘soul’ to be a writer. It takes a lot of mental and emotional strength to get battered with these feelings over and over. And we do it because to not write is….worse.
What does being a writer mean to you? When did you realise you were destined to be a writer?