You know, some people really over-romanticize what it means to be a writer. I guess it’s their way of minimizing the stress of what’s actually required of people like us. Even the non-professionals have some serious shit they have to go through to create full books or fully readable stories/articles.
Writing, Above All, Is A Journey.
A journey that can, and often does, leave you with odd habits, difficulty getting along with people who aren’t also an artist of some kind, and the weirdest sensations in your fingers after a long typing session.
But then again, on the flip side, can you really blame them for hyping it up to this beautiful, magical thing? When we get to experience feelings that might be unique to only us?
A few nights ago I found myself pulled into watching a cheesy romantic comedy called “Not Another Happy Ending.” And it’s about a writer who is blocked because she can’t think of an ending to her second novel. And then towards the end of the movie (spoilers incoming) she says this line:
“You don’t have to be miserable to write, you do it because you have to, because it gnaws away at your insides if you try to ignore it. Because if you don’t write, you might as well be dead.”
-Jane Lockhart (Played by Karen Gillan)
And for the first time ever, I nearly cried while watching a romantic comedy. Because that sums it up, doesn’t it? And oh god isn’t that just the tip of the iceberg?
Be they good, be they bad, we writers experience the weirdest emotions and situations. And if you’ll indulge me (and since you’ve read this far I’m pretty sure you’re willing to) I’d like to list a few of them.
The moment you realize that your characters are talking before you can think of what they’d say. And you scramble to write it all down before they finish.
The soaring joy and deep embarrassment of coming across a fan.
The surge of anger that comes from someone telling you there’s something broken in your story—even if you know they’re right.
The sudden exhaustion of finishing the first draft.
The smile that creeps onto your face when you tell someone about your writing. And the fake smile you keep up when they ask you what your real job is.
And so many more. And please post some moments—if you’re willing—in the comments, if you can think of some I haven’t touched.
And that, that might be worth romanticizing. Just a little bit.