The Reality of Being a Writer by Jami Gray
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Jami Gray as she shares with us “The Reality of Being a Writer.” Enjoy!
Once again NaNoWriMo season is upon us. That time of year that strangely coincides with the invasion of all things spiced with pumpkin. Writers of all levels enter the word wars of NaNo, confident in their ability to carve out fifty thousand words in thirty days. Normally this means my post would help whip that optimism into a battle-tinged frenzy. However, this year, there is a part of the reality of being a writer I must address—doubt.
Not the “should I do NaNo?” kind, but the paralyzing, self-defeating, scar-inducing, creative killer Doubt suffered by artistically bent souls everywhere. It’s an ugly truth of our world and one we may never fully defeat, but must bravely face and rise above.
When those around you hear you’re a writer, chances are high they will immediately jump to stereotypical images of you haunting coffee shops or other venues preferred by the non-conformist types while you merrily type away at your keyboard. They picture you mesmerized by your glowing screen and braced by an endless supply of caffeine. Some may even imagine you congregating with other like-minded individuals as your conversations drift from story elements to character motivation or whatever outlandish plot twist you’ve crafted.
Unfortunately, scenes like this are few and far between. Writing, as most writers won’t hesitate to tell you, is hard, lonely work. It is a solitary job requiring an unrecognizable inner strength few manage to understand.
While it may be hard to believe, I’m not trying to discourage you, especially if you’re just starting out on your Word Warrior quest. I just want to offer you a bit of a reality check and ensure you understand what being a writer means. It’ll give you a better chance of success in the long run.
Writing is hard.
Writing is lonely.
Writing is a difficult job.
I’ve been writing most of my life and published for the last six years. When I started this ride, I was anxious to share my stories and filled with the dream of distributing them to the eager masses. My wish was that at least one of them would resonate with a reader, give that reader a magical place to slip away to, just for a little bit.
For the most part, that wish has come true. I have readers who enjoy my books and are anxious for the next release. They are a big reason I keep putting words on the page, because the lure of sharing my stories is hard to ignore.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I sit down to write, I’m not faced with crippling doubt. It sucks. It sucks big time. Mainly because clawing my way free of it is difficult. The more stories I write, the harder it is to squash that snide voice determined to crap all over my parade.
So why are you crapping on our parade, Jami?
That’s not my intention, I promise. I just want you to remember, when you hit that point, you are not alone.
Yes, writing is a solitary job, and it’s difficult, but you sat down to write for a reason. Remember that reason.
Surround yourself with others who understand the highs and lows of the creative process. They will help you climb out of that pit of doubt, brush the worries from your clothes, and get you back on track.
You are a writer, and as such, you have a depth of will that is staggering. Use it. Believe in yourself, believe in your writing.
As NaNo looms on the horizon, tell that bugger Doubt to stuff it where the sun don’t shine and kick its butt to the curb. I know he’ll be back, but just keep doing it. And when he gets overly demanding, and you start to flounder under his attack, call on your writing partners. I guarantee they’ll rush over with their sharpened pens at the ready. Just as you would for them.
Go forth, my writing warrior, and conquer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jami Gray is the award-winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.
If you want to hunt her down, she can be found lurking around the following cyber locations:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI