Ah, to be a writer. If you write romances, it’s satin sheets and bonbons as you sit on your bed and type on your laptop (or dictate to your secretary). For others, it’s a private office, either in your mansion or New York apartment. Editors come to your home to praise your work. A wife or maid or private secretary takes care of the mundane tasks of everyday living and a personal manager sets up your book tours, including spots on morning shows and late night TV.
What a wonderful life.
At least that’s how it’s often portrayed in the movies, on TV, and in books. (In James Michener’s novel THE NOVEL, the author has the editor coming to his house to help him with his book.) And maybe there are a few writers who enjoy the life I described above, but for most writers it’s all a dream.
But it is a dream that gives us hope.
Most writers start by finding a few hours during the day or week to put the stories playing out in their heads on paper or on the computer. Most have to squeeze their writing in with the mundane chores of earning a living, keeping up a house, raising children, and caring for the sick or elderly. Most don’t have a private hideaway to escape to.
The advice to “Write every day,” is good, but not always possible. Even if a writer does find time to write every day, it may not be uninterrupted writing. And once that book (short story or article) is written and polished, few writers have the connections or finances to hire someone to submit and publicize the finished manuscript. No, once again, it becomes a juggling act of balancing writing time with submitting to agents and/or publishers, along with marketing time.
So why am I going on with these negatives?
- Because if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the external factors that take away from your time and ability to write, know you are not alone.
- If you want to write a book, but think you don’t have time, know few writers have the time—they make the time.
- If you think you need the most up-to-date electronics, a special place to write, or a degree in marketing, know persistence is the most valuable tool you’ll ever possess. Keep at it. Don’t give up.
If you’re not going to make your 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo, don’t feel you’re a failure. No matter how many words you were able to write, you have been writing. Pat yourself on your back.
By the way, this is my fancy desk/work place. It’s in the corner of my bedroom.
Ah, the glamorous life of a writer.