For those who toil and tweak and trouble yourself with words, I am quite certain that you can relate to the fact that non-writers simply do not understand the writer’s life.
It matters not one whit if you haven’t been published yet. What matters is that you diligently produce something–anything–on a daily basis, be it a few pages to your WIP, or a blog, or simply jotting down a myriad of notes for future stories. The fact of the matter is that you are writing.
But to others, who are not immersed in the craft, it remains an elusive and mysterious profession. Wherever you are, people will invariably ask what you do. And deep down, no matter what kind of job you presently occupy, you know that you are a writer. So you say that. “I’m a writer.”
And then, and then it happens; the look, the wariness, the doubt, all gleaned from the questioner. “You write, huh? So, uh, what’re writin’?” Or “What kind of writer are you?” Or “You publish anything?”
A lot of the time it almost sounds like derision, as though you are some kind of a fringe lunatic, engaging in something so esoteric and removed from the norm that you remain a sort of pariah.
You can respond that you are currently writing a novel. Or that you are in revision. Or that you are researching for an article.
And yet the wary, glib reply is wearily heard: “Oh? A book, you say? Well, I have a friend who…”
Or yet another acquaintance who says that “…you should be looking for a literary agent. That’s what my friend says.”
Or another: “Well, it’s obvious that you should self-publish. That’s what I did. It’s definitely the way to go, you know.”
“Oh? And how many books have you sold?”
“Well, only one, but take it from me, self-publish.”
Now perhaps all these fine folk mean well. For the most part. But since they do not write themselves, they have no understanding of what we go through. At all.
Yes, some days are fantastic. You find yourself churning out things all day long. Other days, not so good. The sheet remains white. It’s a tough slog. You wrestle with words, with sentences, with structure, and at times toss them all aside and begin anew.
Sometimes it can be frustrating trying to explain to others that you are a writer. But no matter what, if you can plop yourself down in a chair everyday and write–anything–than you are that writer.
No matter what anyone else thinks, you know, deep down, that you are a writer, that you are committed to toiling, and tweaking, and troubling yourself to the craft.
No matter what others may think, stick to your pen and paper, or keyboard and monitor.
After all, you are in good company. Stay the course. Keep putting black to white. No matter what.
Here’s to your own writing!
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2013, All Rights Reserved.