Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Writerly Way ~ Bad Things About Being a Writer

I ran across this blog a couple of weeks ago. HERE over on Louise Wise's blog titled 3 bad things about being a writer. I thought today about addressing a few of these points today made by Ken Meyers.

The first negative was about writing being Repetitive. Writing is anything but repetitive. Yes certain parts like using proper grammar and spelling, but that doesn't count. After thirty years of writing, I haven't gotten bored by it yet so there is hope for all of you just starting out.

What's repetitive about writing is sitting in front of your monitor and keyboard day in and day out. Nine times out of ten you'd be doing that anyhow in games, getting your news fix, social media, or movies, right? Providing you had internet access, but if you don't then you wouldn't be reading this blog, would you? Nope.

Editing is the one thing about writing for publishing every writer does and dislikes if they have sense. Personally, I love tweaking but then I'm Abby Normal. When I get tired of tweaking the book either sits on my hard drive or in my file cabinet either resting until I want to do it or to die an aged death. Yes I have a few in the latter category.

Remember my first novel is sitting in a box under my bed...all 500 pages of it. May it never see the light of day again! It has yellowed with time and was typewritten. But I keep it as a reminder of how far I've come as an author. I even have the typewriter it was written with in my attic.

There is always something new you can learn about writing. New emotions, new story lines, new plot twists, and new characters that keep writing from being repetitive. Although I did know this doctor once who wrote XXX novels to help put himself through college. He wrote the same story each and every time. Different title, setting or location, different character attributes but the same story line for twenty books. If only writing true fiction could be so easy.

The second negative was loneliness. True writing itself can be a lonely experience if you let it be. I don't. I involve other people in my writing process. I'm currently writing a nonfiction humor book about my stroke recovery. I talk to my therapists, my stroke support group, and my family during this process. I use them as sounding boards to test their reactions. I used my writing forums the same way if I reach a stumbling block and even finding the right word. It becomes a word find game with everyone bouncing words about. Today, writing is only a lonely process if you let it be. I choose to be interactive.

When I first started writing, I found the loneliness paramount. I was surrounded by reference material and screaming toddlers all day while I eked out minute by minute sitting at my dining room table, hen pecking out a manuscript. My only reprieve from the chaos of work and life was writing. In the year it took me to finish that first nonfiction, I thought there had to be a better way. I found it as my children became children. I started becoming proactive in my writing pursuits.

The third point the experience is draining to be true. If you've put everything you are into your novel or nonfiction when you finally write the last credit or "The End," you are physically and emotional drained. That goes without saying. But there is also a sense of accomplishment and completion. I don't know about y'all, but I'm ready the hop up and down and do the Snoopy dance of happiness when I type "The End" at the end of a book even a first draft.

I celebrate the small stuff. But if you think of how much goes into a novel, it's no small feat. Yes, I know there will be long months of editing and rewriting ahead, but at this moment I'm celebrating completion. I don't want to be the writer that pens a book that doesn't leave me drained, do you?

So is my reasoning sound, or am I just being Abby Normal again?
Keep writing and loving the Lord.

7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Drained is an apt description.
I've always been a bit of a loner, so that aspect of writing never bothered me.
And I like the editing phase! Guess we're both Abby Normal.

J.L. Murphey said...

Alex, Abby Normals unite!

Lauren said...

I didn't follow the link to that blog, but I think if he feels this way about writing he won't be doing it for long. It would just be another boring, dead-end job.

Lauren
Lauren-ritz.blogspot.com

tomorrownewsnetwork.com said...

The very idea that there is anything bad about being a writer seems odd to me. I skimmed through the article in your link, and there are some points there I agree with, but I think it confuses the word "bad" with "difficult." Just because something's difficult doesn't mean it's bad.

-James

J.L. Murphey said...

Lauren & Tomorrow, welcome! I agree with you both.

Lara said...

James makes a good point--writing is difficult, but it's not a bad experience.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

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