The April Blogging from A to Z Challenge continues!
A is for AUTHOR
Being a writer is tough. Anyone who is self-employed knows how hard it is to make yourself get up every morning and stick to a schedule of your own design. When the work is there waiting for you – the broken pipe, the dirty house, the waiting client – you have some kind of accountability, some motivation to move forward. With writing, you create your own work (and it isn’t always inspiring or even profitable).
My recent gig as Technical Editor over at Flash Fiction Chronicles has helped re-motivate me in the world of fiction and writing in general. After a lot of years in education and writing curriculum, it’s nice to be around some dreamy folks who support my Doctor Who obsession and don’t ask for evidence that I’ve met the Common Core standards.
The hardest fight in the writer world (for me) is dealing with the bait-and-switch feeling people get when I explain what kind of writer I am. When people hear you are a writer, they immediately think you are J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or Agatha Christie. (You’ve never seen a crestfallen face, until you see a book-lover realize you haven’t published a fiction novel.) And if you aren’t on their local Barnes & Noble bookshelf, then you must be only playing at writing. Few people consider the writer of their child’s lesson plans as a “real” writer. Enjoy that hilarious Superbowl commercial? Writer. Appreciate the succinct explanation of nutritional benefits on your box of CoCo Puffs? Writer.
Writing is all around us, and in our celebrity-mad culture, we’ve come to equate authors with the job requirements of fame, fortune, and film. After all, a book that hasn’t been made into a movie isn’t worth reading, right? Writing is hard, but rewarding – and not for the reasons people think.
The rewards come in seeing others enjoy, learn from, or utilize what you’ve created. In seeing something come to life on the page. In knowing that your efforts will live on – even if your name isn’t attached to it. Writing is like teaching, or raising kids. You don’t see the benefits for years to come, and sometimes you wonder why you even bother. But when it’s all said and done, there really isn’t anything else you’d rather do.
Leave a comment for me, if you please. Writing is a lonely business.