Friday, October 03, 2008

Why I DON'T write.

It seems that for every reason I can come up with for writing there's several reasons why I shouldn't. First the 'physical'. It's often hard to find time to write. So many other things need to be done in the day - things that seem more important, or at least, more immediate than writing. Things like laundry and cooking. But also things like checking emails and reading other people's books. It's very easy to procrastinate when it comes to writing. If you're writing at a coffee shop you can order more coffee, people watch, etc. If you're at home you tend to aim for that elusive (read non-existant) several hours worth of utter silence without distractions. And for me at least, everything else that comes up 'needs' to be done before my 'hobby', ie writing. I guess one of the problems with being a writer is that, unless you're freelance or have books on contract, there's no deadline. No one's waiting for my next book to be completed so I can take my time with it. Tinker with it. It doesn't feel like a job. And therein lies the true power of procrastination. You can always do it later. Oddly enough, later never seems to arrive.

Then there's the other reasons not to write. Until you have a book published no one takes you seriously. "Writing a book, are you? What a co-incidence, so am I." And they walk off laughing. Unless you get paid for writing you're not considered a 'professional'. So instead of working on your novel you write short stories and articles in the hopes of getting some publications to your name, all the while knowing it's novels you're good at and novels you want to write.

And of course the money issue. If you want to get rich don't become a writer. Yes, some people get extremely lucky and make the bestseller's list with their first novel along with all that entails. But let's face it, how often does that happen? Most 'overnight sucesses' take 10 years or more to create. Dan Brown wasn't an overnight success. He wrote several novels before the Da Vinci Code bumped him into the limelight.

Which is where that 'compunction' I wrote about yesterday comes in. Most writers I know write because they must. The desire to tell stories is ingrained in them. I guess somewhere down the line you learn the self-discipline to sit in that chair and write that novel. Or you don't and your novels never become more than ideas in your head. Tomorrow I'll post some ideas on how to make yourself sit down and write, ignoring all of the other 'needs'.

1 comment:

patty said...

so true--it's hard to be taken seriouszly even when you have books published! that's why we write for the love of writing, i suppose. and that's why we keep writing despite the poverty.;)