Butt in chair: the not so glamorous life of a writer

Everybody dreams of the glamorous author life--fans and money and book signings and interviews and eternal life... But writing isn't what media makes it out to be. It may look easy and a way to make a quick buck, but really it's back pain, missed parties, no friends, anxiety, creative blocks, self-doubt, stress, and tears. I'm sorry, but there isn't anything glamorous about it. Also, there's no magical formula to becoming a famous, best-selling author. 

Writing is hard work, and the world needs to start seeing it that way.

But it isn't only negative. My parents are afraid of me ending up homeless on the streets. That isn't really realistic either though. Authors don't need to be poor, hungry and depressed for the sake of their art. That isn't the point either.

I guess we just want to be considered normal--although we are a bit strange. For writers, being strange is a part of the job description. Writing is just as much of a profession as anything else. Strangeness aside, we are human beings, not immortal deities or starving rats.

For me, writing is magic. It's a possibility to turn words into worlds and characters. I can't even explain how it makes me feel. It's somehow not even human. Writing is magic. But that's what I personally see in my art. To an outside observer, my writing process looks nothing like the glamorous life of famous best selling authors. And that's because reality isn't like that.

The fault isn't only in the media and the people outside the writing community. As writers, we need to ask ourselves what we truly want. Is it money? (Boo on you.) Or fame? Or just a chance to follow your heart and do what's your passion? Do you want to have a big audience, or do you just want to make a living doing what you love?

You need to be clear about your intentions. Be honest to yourself and to your craft. Even though I said boo to you who are only after the money, I also want to congratulate you. You're a rare group. Few artists actually know what they want.

And the thing is, people who know what they want often also get it. However, we need to stop pretending that the process is glamorous. Writers just write. We sit down and type. It's simple, and some days it really sucks. Nothing complicated. No magic formula. 

And if that sounds like it sucks, then you probably can't do it. I personally don't like starting, but when I'm in the groove I feel so alive. If you don't feel something special when you write, it's not for you -- and that's okay. A writer's life isn't glamorous like some make it out to be, but a real writer knows how to make writing feel amazing. First you just put your butt in the chair, and then you type away.

To some it may seem absurd and nightmarish, but to us it's the truest form of magic.

Have a happy writing day,

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