Don’t you want to be a professional writer? Happily typing away at a brisk pace when the mood hits you, calmly sipping your drink of choice as you sit in a beautiful, clean room with plenty of natural lighting, overlooking placid scenery?
Ok, hold on a sec…
Ok, ok, now that I’ve got that off my chest…
I’m about two weeks into working on the current novel, and let me tell you, it is work. It is wonderful work, but that picture of just happily typing away? Of waiting for a muse?
Yeah. Not so much.
First off, the house is a disaster area. I’ve got an insanity of kids. (A group of kids is called an insanity. Trust me.) They do not leave any room devoid of chaos. Trying to find a quiet moment is difficult at best unless you wait for after bedtime, at which time I’m utterly exhausted.
Second off, I live in suburbia. Ain’t no mountain or forest views here. I can stare out the window at my neighbors across the street, my neighbors on either side of our house, or the neighbors behind us. It’s not exactly stimulating scenery, let me tell you.
And the words don’t fly off the fingertips as easily as I’d like. I’ve got a good outline. I’ve got the character voices pretty well nailed down. And sometimes, yes, the scenes flow. But oftentimes, writing looks like me staring at the screen and twitching.
But here’s the thing:
I love it.
It’s work. I’ll say it again, because it seems so many people think that writing is this fantasy easy thing where you never labor again. It is work.
But it is awesome work.
There are not many positions where you can get paid to create worlds. Granted, I’m not a full-time author, but I’m now receiving pay for the worlds I create. How cool is that? To make stuff up and have people say, “Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Have some cash!”
And how much fun is it to learn about the worlds you create? I’m currently working in a steampunk setting, so I’ve been learning about Victorian slang. There’s some really cool words out there. And while I’m certainly not utilizing them all, it’s helping inform what slang I have my characters use.
And to take characters on adventures? I’ve never ridden the back of a dragon, but these characters will. I’ve never battled evil fae (at least not that I remember!), but these characters will. I’ve never explored a clockwork forest or the bleached realms, but man, these characters are going there!
And yes, my characters will struggle, too. That’s the nature of a good story. Characters learn and grow, but there is never growth without struggle. They will face terrible challenges. But the point of fiction isn’t to pretend that villains don’t exist, but to teach us they can be defeated. (Yes, I kinda sorta quoted Neil Gaiman there, but he talks about defeating dragons, and in my novel dragons are good guys. Mostly. Kind of.)
What I’m saying is:
Writing is work. I’ve said that often on this blog.
But I don’t want to come off as whiny, because writing is awesome work. It’s worth it.
If you’re writing… keep going. If you’re reading… oh, please, keep reading, too. And keep dreaming. It’s worth it.