On Being a Writer

You know, since getting a book published, I think it's funny how many people tell me that writing a book is something they've always wanted to do. It's a shared dream, I think. Everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone takes the time to write it down. It's a worthwhile experience, in my opinion. However, if you're going to become a writer, you will write. It doesn't matter the time, the job, the kids--you'll find the time. Even if it's fifteen minutes after lunch, you'll find the time to scribble down a couple lines on the outline, jot down a line of dialogue or type up that scene that's been bothering you since you tried to sleep last night.

The characters you're currently working with and characters whose names you don't even know, will start to bother you in those moments before sleeping, or the time just after waking. Plot twists will thread their way through dinner time conversations and car rides. You'll find your commute taken up with more thought of how your character is going to get his way out of this mess than what you're supposed to be doing for the day. You plot while washing your hair or brushing your teeth. You find random scraps of paper at the bottom of purses or pockets, sometimes scrawling ideas or revelations in eyeliner pencil because that's all you can find.

I've personally always found the actual writing of the story to be the most painful part of writing. The ideas, the characters, all that pops up. It's the actually chain myself to the computer and get it down that I agonize over. I swear I can sometimes feel the words pulled out of me one by one, the little internal critic in my brain questioning every choice. Editing, after the words on the paper, I find much easier. It's not that painful to be to slash out whole pages of description or dialogue. Funny, because I used to fight over every word. Now, not so much.

I've always had stories and characters littering my brain. It will be interesting to see how many of them find their way on to paper to go visit others.


  1. Interesting insight! I fully agree that if you are a writer, you will squeeze in time for your craft, somehow.

    I think it's also worth discussing the feeling of tremendous satisfaction you get when a piece of a story is ironed out to the point that it feels "right". You can't tell anyone else why you're sure the story finally works; you just know it does.


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