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A Good Link

If you want to be a writer--and lord, so many of us do, even when we ought to know better!--you could do a lot worse than to read this piece by Kameron Hurley.

Writing for me was never an act of courage, an act of defiance, an act of...well, much of anything. I suppose it was an act of cope. I wrote because that was what I did. When I had no hope of ever making money on my first real novel, I still wrote it anyway, because what else could I do?


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Wow. That's a powerful piece. Thanks for posting the link.

I wrote because that was what I did

Hah. That's why I keep coming back to fanfiction. The story is happening in my head anyway, and it's fun to share it so directly with other people. I hate waffle about muses, but the story is either happening, in which case I must compulsively write it down, or it isn't, and then I might as well not bother writing...

Thank you for sharing the link.

I've passed it on to several friends.

Fantastic read (that and the previous article it links to). I've already sent the links off to my husband who is struggling very, very (very, very, very) hard with the idea that, while he may have finished his novel, it may take just as long or longer (or never) to get an agent and then to get published.

An agent finally asked for more information last Thursday, which he sent on Friday. By "finally" I mean less than a month from his first round of sending queries. This morning he was lamenting that he'd not heard back. I might have to look up the most appropriate deity to pray to that the agent decides to take him on. I know the longest road will be getting published (especially since the novel is in a less popular genre).

Thank you. I'm suffering from severe writer's block and it's good to know that the Successful Ones have the same dry spells. I'm not even close to getting my first rejection slip, so it helps, y'know?

Thank you for this article. I feel like sending it to every person who wonders aloud why, only two years after my first self-published novel, I'm not making a living at writing yet.

You have my complete and total permission to run at those people screaming and waving your arms like they're bad squirrels on the porch eating your camellias.

Thank you. Heck, my five books actually earned me grocery money for two months in a row, and I'm pretty chuffed at that!

Every time I read a post like that, I nod a little sadly and say, "Yep, not a writer."

I feel that drive and compulsion for editing, and for reading; so that's what I do for a living. But it's strange to be surrounded--since birth--by people who have that drive and compulsion for writing, and to keep looking for it in myself and never find it. I don't feel deficient or anything, just different.

EDIT: I appear to have written an entire post on this.

Edited at 2014-01-23 08:23 am (UTC)

If it helps--and this may be the worst thing to say, I'm not sure--when starry-eyed young students ask me about art, what I usually say is "If there is anything else you can do with your life and be happy, DO THAT."

And I mean it, because most of the creative arts are, the way things are currently set up, bizarre and stupid ways to make a living. You will be simultaneously fetishized and devalued. There is no security and often no sense and every idiot with a blog (and I include myself!) will tell you how to be creative because it's not a tangible thing where you can easily be proved wrong.

And if zombies attack, we'll be completely useless--speak to hope and inspiration and triumph of the human spirit all you like, a good gardener or gunsmith will be worth ten of us.

This may change. I kinda hope it does. I even get occasional hints that it is! But I think there's so much grief that goes into the profession at the moment--both writing a book and then the long slog of publishing--that maybe the people most likely to succeed are the ones who are a bit obsessed.

...and of course, to always remember that the people telling you their story are writers, and there's a lot fewer exciting adjectives to be found in "The book had to get written, so I made an outline and then wrote an hour every day until it was done." *grin*

If it helps--and this may be the worst thing to say, I'm not sure--when starry-eyed young students ask me about art, what I usually say is "If there is anything else you can do with your life and be happy, DO THAT."

I think you might have gotten something very different out of her post than I did, because my impression was of someone who had heard "If there is anything else you can do with your life and be happy, DO THAT" a whole lot.

*grin* Whereas I was thinking it was possibly the opposite--"If writing is so lousy, I don't want to do it," which is an almost shocking sentiment in creative circles.

I don't know. I may have entirely the wrong end of the stick here.

Heavy.

My mom wants me to write. I write and draw and sew as hobbies, and the sewing is the one I was hoping to monetize some day. My mom doesn't understand why I don't want to write for a living. I suppose I could link her this.

Oh, gosh, being a writer because SOMEONE ELSE thinks you should be sounds like a terrible idea. (I write and knit as hobbies, and while making money off of writing would someday be nice, I suspect that making money off of knitting is much more likely, even though I know that the effort-to-income ratio of knitting is pretty absurd.)

Edit: By which I mean, "trying to make money from writing." You said you write, so clearly you're already a writer.

Edited at 2014-01-23 05:20 pm (UTC)

I know a lot of writers like that. However, I write because I can't not. It keeps me sane and happy. Is that what you mean by coping?

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