It is said that everyone has a book in them. Not only is it ingrained in the human psyche to tell stories, but also for most of us, there’s something inside that just can’t stop telling a tale. It’s a passion that keeps us coming back, day after day, to the blank page — a hunger to fill the white spaces.
And like most of people with a passion, we dream of the day when that passion pays off and we can quit our mundane lives to devote all our time and effort into a job that we truly and absolutely love. Like the high school girl who heads off to Hollywood to become the next big movie star or the college kid who quits law school to become a rockstar, we who are called to the written word dream of being the next Bestseller. The only problem is that, unlike movie and rockstars, the bestselling author rarely gets the glamour or the big paycheck that sets them up for life.
We all know this, right? Writing will not make most of us rich.
And yet, we strive and shell out hard earned cash for workshops and seminars and books on craft so that we improve and can one day write that stunning masterpiece that will put us on the map. As we become more and more devoted to that dream, we put more time and effort into learning the business, pushing ourselves out of our solitary writerly existences to learn things like web design and marketing and promotion. All in the quest for becoming a published author. To be quite honest, I don’t so much feel that the “business” side of the writing business is outside my comfort zone as much as, when I do that stuff, I feel like someone is shoving bamboo rods under my fingernails.
I really hate doing that stuff. So much so, that I avoid it as much as possible. For I’ve come to realize that if I pay too much attention to that part of things, I start to forget why I liked writing in the first place. In hearing over and over how much work is demanded to building a name before a publishing house will touch you, or singling yourself out from the e-mob on Amazon, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. It’s easy to forget the bliss.
In the end, it’s not fame and fortune that really drives us to write — that’s what record producers, TV networks, and movie studios are for. It’s not the ease of the work — writing is just plain hard most the time if you’re doing it right. It’s not the collaboration — even when working with other writers, most the time you’re still working alone.
It’s the passion. The bliss. It’s the drive that won’t let you think of doing anything else, because you just can’t kick the addiction to the written word.
So, strive, make your goals, work hard on that dream to become the next Big Thing in books. But don’t let the work make you forget why you dreamed the dream in the first place. Don’t ever forget the bliss.
Thank you!! I needed this post today. Looking at past works has been depressing. I’m improving, a LOT, but I still have so far to go it can be discouraging. Instead of obsessing over the end goal, it’s good, as you so aptly put it, to remember the bliss. Thanks.
Thanks, Colette. That was the very thing that prompted the post, for me. This summer’s been very non-productive for me because I’ve been so focused on how my writing isn’t where it should be to get it published. Added to the rather confusing inundation of info about self- vs traditional publishing, I’ve gotten very discouraged, which has had a very bad effect on my mindset and productivity. I realized I was focusing on the wrong thing – publication rather than the creation of a good story.
So, I think I’m going to relax on the publication front for a while and remember my bliss. 🙂
A very inspiring post. My summer has also been extremely unproductive… extremely unproductive. Nothing much to add except “Ditto.”
And another ditto from me also…
Make that three!
And another! Fulfillment is fantastic pay. 😉