There are a lot of people who want to be writers. Some of them are friends and acquaintances I’ve met along my path. They envy me in a shameless way. My life seems as close to Carrie Bradshaw as possible without the single life and the large shoe closet. Many, I believe, think that I spend all day shopping and galavanting.
Yes it is partially that I suppose.
But the truth is, I spend more days sitting on my butt, pulling out my hair, trying to find the best words to squeeze into my prose. It’s not fun nor glamorous. Yet, it feels to me like freedom-the freedom to express myself and communicate in a way I couldn’t do verbally.
For all of you who want to be a writer, know this truth.
Writing for a living is not easy. It’s not an outpouring of soul divulging like it is in a diary. It is not about seeing your name in print (although it is fun to see it). It is not about being called an author or a writer (that you can get from simply printing out a business card).
The truth about writing is that it is hard work. My brain hurts afterwards. That’s the only excuse I have for emails I send to you with misspellings and grammatical errors or Facebook updates that sort of doesn’t make sense. It’s why I fumble over words when I talk. The process of writing words that seem effortless takes a surprising amount of effort. And that’s just the writing part.
You also have to factor in interviewing skills, transcribing, editing, and of course marketing. It’s a party hat few TV writers show you. Mostly because it’s not all fun or glamorous to do so. It’s simply work.
While the outcome, the finished product could look pretty, to me the process can be ugly and quite messy. I guess it’s like anything worth doing. Please remind me of this the next time I’m in the throes of my work.