This is what greets me this morning. Two writers that I admire (including one that I personally know) each write blog posts that essentially say, being a writer is really hard work that you have to actually WORK at to be better and you, you crazy wannabe, will never make it.
They both come to the same conclusion: you most likely will fail, but what you can do is Write. A thousand words a day come hell or high water, or more, if the spirit moves you.
Gotta be honest. I’m not writing a thousand words a day. I’m not blogging every day. I’m most likely breaking every single rule ever invented about writing. And I am doing it heartily. (Ha! Look Stephen King, I used an adverb.)
Sometimes I write a lot more than a thousand words. Sometimes none. Now, keep in mind I am talking about fiction words. I must write something in the area of a gazillion words if you count my paycheck work, which I don’t. I just wrote a letter to a woman who wanted to know why preventive health screenings make sense and who stated, categorically, that all they do is create false-positives and unnecessary stress. I disagree, so I told her why. I had to be clear, reasonable, and fundamentally tell her my side of the story. But it doesn’t count because it isn’t fiction coming out of my head.
Why do I want to be a writer? Because I am a writer. Nothing I can do to change that. If I don’t write, the voices in my head become louder and my head gets crowded. Now, being a fairly decent writer is up to me, and being a published writer is up to the Fates, who I definitely think are conspiring against me. Nope, don’t think–KNOW they are. I can just imagine them with their one eye taking turns looking at me and cackling, “She wants to be published! Who the hell does she think she is? Let’s just let her dangle there, shall we?”
So, I’ll write. I’ll work at it. I’ll do all the things I can do that are in my control, and I still may never be published, continuously rejected. That is just the chance I am going to have to take because the writing isn’t negotiable. I wrote my first story when I was seven, pecking it out on a typewriter. It was about Jack the Horse, whose one leg was shorter than another. When you start writing at 7, I’m pretty sure the path is chosen for you, not the other way around.