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Don’t Ever Assume Writing is Easy

So, you think writing is easy. Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, I could write this? I’m sure we’re all guilty of that sentiment. After all, there are only a few basics to writing a good novel, a good story, right? Besides, writing is all about crossing out the wrong words. That should be easy enough. And, then there’s the publishing game.

In reality? Writing is all about sitting down and actually doing it. It’s not about empty promises or the I can do that syndrome. Writing, becoming an author, is about actually writing. Facing a blank page, day after day, and putting some words on it. Words that make sense, of course. Words that follow some sort of direction, weave a plot, describe a setting, create believable characters. Piece of cake, right? Well…

The truth of the matter is, writing is hard work. You may have the best ideas floating around in your head, just waiting to be shared. A real blockbuster, a best-seller. The hard fact is that ideas are nothing until they are written out.

Also, writing isn’t only about writing the best-selling novel. Writing is slogging through writing queries, writing promo blurbs, writing articles to support your writing life, and so many, not always very pleasant, writing tasks. If you want to make a living as a writer, you will be faced, many times, with the task of writing something that doesn’t spark your interest. And, even when faced with working on your pride and passion, the novel, there are elements of the writing exercise that are not at all enjoyable. Like editing. It’s one of those necessary evils that require considerable attention. Writing is not re-living the fantasy stories in your head. Writing is work.

It's also time-consuming and all-encompassing. As you write, you’re plagued with new ideas, alternative tangents, more stories to write, and interruptions. There’s the phone, the internet, the doorbell, the dog that needs walking, and the family that needs to be fed. Interruptions are the plague of any stay-at-home employment, but, as a writer, interruptions not only stop the work in progress, it also erases any new ideas that you haven’t had the opportunity to write down. Getting back into the groove, so to speak, after an interruption is just as difficult as it was at the beginning of the writing day. Interruptions only add to the frustration and the inevitable exhaustion.

Then there’s the criticism and the people who don’t respect you as a writer. Some may even say your writing is just a hobby. Is it? I doubt that. I know I take my writing very seriously, even if few others take my writing seriously. And, the criticism and snide remarks can be hurtful. They certainly add to the growing tension of self-doubt, which complicates the writing process, making it difficult to once again, get in the groove.

Remember, too, the writing job doesn’t end with the writing. There’s the editing, ugh, and the queries to potential publishers, the rejection letters, and, once the book is in print, the never-ending push to market the book, to promote yourself as a writer.

There’s nothing magical about being a writer. Face it, writing is hard work! Only those with a passion for writing will succeed. Why? Because those with a passion for writing will work hard at their writing. Practise makes perfect, right?

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Emily-Jane Hills Orford