Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yeah, who do you think you are?

"How's your book coming?"
"Get published, yet?"
"Oh, you're starting a new book? Didn't you already have one? What ever happened to that?"
"Oh... that sounds... interesting."
"I have a friend who's writing a memoir."
"I'm also a writer, I'm writing a memoir."
"Sci-fi? Um... that's cool. I guess."
"This sound like every bad thriller movie I've ever seen. I mean, no offense."
"Wait, you're still going to school, right?"

As a writer, as are all of you, I'm sure these questions have arisen at least once. If not more. The overall scheme of the world seems to believe that doing something with a long shot at professionalism is far-fetched, unrealistic, and honestly kind of silly.

How dare we dream, right?

How dare we ask our friends and family to take an interest. To read for us. To support that we spend copious amounts of free time doing something that may or may not pay out in the end. And heaven forbid that we may actually do this for our own enjoyment, our own sanity.

Do I sound bitter? A little miffed? Do I sound like maybe I'm getting a little worn down?

I'm not going to be the next Jean-Paul Sartre, and I'm never going to write a full-out memoir. I'm never going to be a multi-million dollar author, or be able to do it as a full time career.

But I will be published someday. Because I have things to say, things that are interesting, things that are fun, words that will bring people to tears and keep someone up at night. I'll challenge someone's imagination. I'll have an review shredding my lack of substance and comparing me to sparkly vampires.

I'm not comparing myself to Anne Rice, and I'm not putting my work up to Stephen King. But I'll have an review telling everyone that I did it, someday. That I wrote a book they loved. That I meant something from page one to the end of a too-long epilogue.

That's why we all write, isn't it?

That's why we wake up early before work, and stay up after the house is dark and the sound of the keyboard is all that remains at 2 in the morning.
It's why we dance around our homes, bang our fists on the table in frustration, throw red pens across the room, skip out on Friday night plans, and why we have Twitter accounts.
It's why we cry at rejection letters, grit our teeth at loved one's biting statements, and why we secretly wake up at 4 in the morning just to jot down words we can't read in the morning.

For that feeling of finishing a chapter. For that rush of writing the perfect scene. For the overwhelming surge of uncontrollable joy when you type the words "the end".

I don't really know what this post is about. I'm sure I'm just making you all think I've lost by mind. But on the random chance that maybe you needed a little bit of reminder on this beautiful, cold, Saturday morning - don't EVER stop doing what you love. Don't ever feel like you're alone in this. We're all here, we're all miffed, and we're all on Twitter babbling nonsense just to make it through the day.

So keep typing, and know that you have a friend in the unpublished writing business.

Lots of love for you all, and stay out of the wind. Shiver.


  1. You're not losing your mind. Been there, done that, bought the mega-expensive t-shirt etc. But if, at the end of the day, you reach your dream, you'll have the satisfaction not only of succeeding, but of doing so despite what everyone else might have thought or said. Will it make it worth it? Only you know that. :)

  2. so true..people keep asking me when my book is coming out...I'm thinking...seriously? I'm still editing, my query letter still gets scathing kitty won't stop trying to type. Blah blah blah.

    People have no idea how difficult it is if you're going the traditional route. Sure, I could whore my project out to some on demand publisher, and lose my baby! Not again!

    Keep going Beth. You will be in print. I love your story. Someone else (who matters) will too!

  3. *Yeah! What she said!*

    Seriously - your post gave me the shivers.

    I've been feeling so down about my own writing lately this post came at the perfect time! I have the constant doubts, the unkind family members, the worry that I'll never be good enough. But none of that matters because I love writing, and I have internet buddies who know exactly how that feels too.

    Together, we're all going to make it! One way or another :) Especially with posts like this to remind us.

  4. I did need a reminder. Thank you VERY much! :)