For me May 6th marks one year of being a published writer, and I know we still have a month an a half until then, but I thought I would just talk a little about what I have realised this last year.
And to do this I thought I would keep today's post in the same category as Dianna's "Hermitude" post, because she's right. Writing is a very secluded career, and that is the first thing I think any aspiring writer should know.
(I would just like to say here that this is just my views on things, and I will probably realize a lot more as each year goes by. But, I am a person who picks at myself when I don't meet my own expectations, and it has taken me this last year to realize I need to shut up and relax.)
Sure you will meet other writers and will become friends with them to the point that if you have moment you feel like ripping your hair out you can talk to them - or in my case, bug them. *Smiles sweetly at Dianna*
You don't go to a work place, and you're not surrounded by colleagues every day. You are your own boss. You decide your own hours, and sometimes you have to motivate yourself, because sometimes it can be hard to get that project finished.
I don't get up every day to travel to my workplace, so I can do a set pattern of work and be surrounded by my work colleagues. No matter what happens in life a person still has to get up every day and do that. As a writer you're at home working. You decide how you will spend your day, and if life is weighing you down you can choose to let it. You can choose to not write; to procrastinate.
Sometimes it's lonely. Sometimes you want to write, but you can't because despite what a lot of people think writing isn't something you can simply switch on and off, and if you could it doesn't necessarily mean you will always write quality stories. Sometimes your mentally tired as well as physically. Sometimes you're stuck. Sometimes you question yourself over everything.
If you're a naturally impatient person it is some times torturous because the biggest part of writing is waiting. You wait for ideas to grow and unfold. You wait for characters to show you everything you need to know about them and their story. Real life gets in the way so sometimes you have to wait to write, and even then, sometimes you need to wait for the energy to write. You wait to hear what your Beta readers think. You wait to see what your editor says. You wait for contracts, and edits, and release dates and covers . . . Needless to say waiting is something you need to get use to and quickly.
Despite all of that writing is fun, and it is a passion and need that runs deep. It is extremely easy to become a hermit because all you want to do is sit at your computer and write - even when it's proving to be difficult or you're having no luck - the need to write and pull everything out of your head is overwhelming.
I keep seeing an image from on facebook which makes me laugh and say, "so true."
"A writer never has a vacation. For a writers life consist of either writing, or thinking about writing." - Eugene Ionesco (www.writing.com)
Even if life is being a pain. Even if we are struggling with a particular scene, or feeling isolated. Even if we can't muster the energy to write . . . . We want too. We will be thinking about writing even if we can't - especially if we can't.
I have learnt this last year that I am not a machine. That even if I have lots of ideas I can't force myself to write, because as soon as you force it, you lose the enjoyment and it becomes a chore. I learnt that if I have days where I can't write for one reason or another, I need to not beat myself up about it, because I will have moments where I can't. I have learnt that while waiting the best thing I can do is just write.
Most importantly I learnt that I'm not the only writer who freaks out over everything, and that I'm not the only one who gets stuck.
Writing is a secluded career but all writers go through the same process, and although it sucks if I hear a fellow writer has hit a wall, and I hope they can figure it out and crack on with their writing, knowing I'm not alone when things get hard is both a relief and a great help. Because we may not work in a building or on the same project, but we're still doing the same job.