Wednesday, March 12, 2014

So You Want to be a Writer

“I’d always loved to read…but I never thought about writing as a career.” ~Nora Roberts

Back it up. I call bologna, a big, stinking pile of it. There’s not a soul I know that hasn’t entertained, however briefly, the idea of being a writer. I suspect that most of it has to do with the idea that writers can grab their notebooks and laptops and work wherever and whenever we want. Or maybe it’s the mental picture of getting paid millions a year to sit around in our pajamas, eat ice cream and wait for our muse to crawl out of bed and tell us to say something brilliant. 

Do you want to know the difference between the people who entertain the idea of being a writer and the people that actually become one? Do you want to know what makes Nora Roberts a bestselling author while thousands of beautiful, brilliant people sit around hoping a publisher will notice them and launch them to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List? 

(Waits while everyone sucks in a suspenseful breath.)

I feel like I should say something inspirational here. Something moving, like, “The people who write are the people who can’t stand not to.” Or something like that. But I’d be lying. At the end of the day, the people who write are the ones that sit down at that keyboard, day after day, and make words spill out onto the page…whether their brain wants them to or not!

Writers, real writers, know their job rocks. They get to get up every morning, grab a cup of coffee, and spill their lifeblood all over a page until the end of the day. Which, let me tell you, is a whole lot harder than picking up a phone or coding a computer program or asking if they want fries with that. Sometimes they do it in their pajamas. Sometimes they do it on the beach. Sometimes they even do it in pants, just to shake things up a bit.

They can do it anywhere, any time, because when you're pulling your craft out of that part of yourself you never let anybody see any other time, the time and the place doesn’t matter.

People talk about times and places to write all the time. When’s the best time of day to write. Where’s the best place to write. Everyone is different, and at the end of the day it’s going to be all up to you. Are you a writer, to craft a word to a page even on days you feel like you can barely speak? Or are you going to spend the rest of your life waiting for that elusive muse to swing by and give you a push in the right direction?

I know where my bets would be. 

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