Happy Labo(u)r Day to my American and Canadian friends!
First, you should know that I do plan to labor today, just not at the day job. I am within striking distance of typing The End on a novella and hope to hit it if I can.
Second, I’ve deemed September my month for evaluation, education, and planning the continuance of my quest for world domination into 2017. To aid in this, I’ve been taking part in This awesome Free to Focus seminar on productivity.
So, yeah, more work. But that’s okay, I’m a writer, I’m used to it.
Some people mistakenly think that writing is a purely creative process. It’s not. It’s labor-intensive work, and every day writers struggle with the biggest obstacles to getting that writing work done. Today, I want to take a moment to salute my fellow writers.
A lot of of us earn a living outside of writing. That means the majority of our hours are not our own. We are parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends, and as such have things we not only must do to fulfill those roles, but want to do. Most of the time, it beats sitting in front of a computer. I don’t believe in Muses, but I do have faith in inspiration.
I also know there are other forces at work each and every time we open a new document.
The inner demons. The ones that start whispering in your ear at about chapter five. They tell you that this story isn’t making any sense. They claim your characters are no better than cardboard cutouts, and that no reader will ever fall in love with them. They make a writer wonder why they are even bothering wasting what few free hours they have trying to craft a story, when the voices in their heads already know that they story is crap.
But we write it anyway.
Even the most successful writers must endure the pain of rejection. Ask J.K. Rowling about it. And the rejections don’t stop once you get a book published. In some ways, they become a little more personal.
Sometimes, our books release to great fanfare. More often, they creep quietly into the world, and try to carve out a little niche for themselves. We spend countless hours thinking about promotion (because we’re really on our own for that), searching for new audiences for our work (because we know they are out there), and sending up silent prayers that someone, anyone likes it enough to tell someone, anyone else about it.
So here’s to you, my fellow word-putting-into-sentence-doers. Without you, my to-be-read list would be far more manageable. And for a reader who is also a writer, there’s no worse fate.