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There are also really flowery quotes about how wonderful writing is, and then you see media portrayals of the struggling—but brilliant!—writer who becomes a bestseller, and then you hear about a teen getting a publishing contract for about a bajillion dollars and the whole writing thing can sound like a pretty sweet deal.
These writers, man. They’re special. They feed on words and bathe in advances. They are living the dream.
And I mean, some of us are, I suppose. Some days I kind of am. But sometimes the dream staring at the screen for hours when you’re supposed to be writing and not actually writing a word, or looking at a mountain of revision notes and panicking about how you’ll ever manage it, or realizing you’re going to need way more than one book deal to even think about supporting yourself off your author wages, or not being able to write for months and starting to wonder if you’re really a writer after all. If you’ve lost your magic.
The truth is, I don’t like romanticizing the process because it doesn’t do anyone justice. Because if we pretend those hard days, weeks, months, years, even, didn’t happen then suddenly a writer’s success isn’t perceived as earned—it starts to look like it’s been given. Because if we pretend writing is something that comes naturally and can’t not be done then on the days where the writing is really hard, you might start to wonder if you’re really a writer at all.
I’m not into pretending writing is always amazing, and wonderful, and rainbows, and sugar. I’m not into ignoring the days where the writing is tough and I’m not sure what I’m doing and the pressure feels like almost too much. I’m not into overlooking the days where I’m exhausted from school but still have manuscripts to edit or vlogs to post or blog posts to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my pub jobs and I’m so grateful to be working in a field that I love. But I think being transparent about the realities of the publishing and writing life is important, both to encourage each other and to get through the not-so sunny days.
What do you think? Do you tire of the romanticization of writers?
Writer @Ava_Jae says, "I’m not into pretending writing is always amazing..." What do you think? (Click to tweet)
On the romanticization of writers, and why one writer is tired of it. (Click to tweet)