The True Writing Life ain’t easy. If you get into it for the money, you’ll not be happy, that’s for sure.
My passion is words. Has been since as far back as I remember. But it wasn’t until the last few years that I removed obstacles to allow that passion full rein. In practical terms, what does that mean? I’ll tell you.
The True Writing Life means my bosses are the words, the sentences, the paragraphs, and chapters, and whole books…and now songs, too. When they are ready to come out, they must come. Their time rules. “Write me…now,” they say, “or else you’ll be sorry.” Yes, I’m punished with headaches and blues.
The True Writing Life means you have bosses whose agendas come first. Characters tell me their stories and I must tell their stories, not as I want them to be, but as they are: True to that one.
The True Writing Life also means when others send me their manuscripts for editing, my bosses demand that I tell these people when they are not doing their jobs well. Is the story told out of sequence for no good reason, leaving the reader confused? Let’s make it better, shall we? Is punctuation used willy-nilly? Let’s just tweak that right now, whatcha say? Redundant words sucking the life out of your story? Let me show you how we can get around that, okey-dokey?
Of course, one must eat. Whether it’s books, stories, poems, or songs that are ruling your life, you want to figure out a way to monetize it, right?
Well, the True Writing Life knows that to monetize ones words takes discipline. It is a dogged pursuit in the face of everyone telling you it will never happen. Oh, their reasons vary, but one oft-recurring reason is this: You can only succeed if you “do it by the book.”
Want to know what “do it by the book” really means? Stay tuned for the next post.