Do What You Love and You’ll Never Work a Day in Your Life
So goes the popular phrase. Writers must love to write or they would never sit for hours struggling for just the right word or phrase.
Of course writers love their work. They get to put their thoughts on paper, gather them into chapters and publish them as full-grown books. Writers can write when they want to, goof off if they feel like it, earn $30 or $40 a book, build their bank accounts, and sit back in a comfy chair dreaming of what they’ll wear to that Pulitzer ceremony. Can’t they?
They should be happier than pigs in, well, excrement.
But they’re not.
Writers are Overwhelmed With All They Have To Do.
Every writer I know bemoans the time spent on tasks related to writing but not actually writing. Writers don’t get paid enough, reviewers can be brutal, and the window to keep books on the seller’s shelf is oh, so small. Publishers even cut publishing runs on books which are earning because they need the figures to be even higher. And while I’m certainly not blaming the suffering publishing world, this all adds up to a huge load of stress for writers.
I’m old enough to remember the hype when personal computers were invented and quickly made their way into almost every home. Computers were supposed to make our lives easier.
They were touted to be the invention that would do our work for us, give us lives of indolent bliss, and make the two-week yearly vacation a thing of the past. Why, so much of our work would be done by machines controlled by computers, we could push a button from home once a day and then go blissfully ahead with our quest for joy and pleasure.
Instead the opposite is true. Computers have changed our world in countless ways but the one I notice affecting the writing world is this: almost every one I meet seems to be writing. The physical act of putting words on screens is so easy that new writers are born every minute. The days of copying out manuscript edits and–horrors!–rewriting whole chapters with pen and paper are gone. We writers can easily revise, reshape, re-imagine our stories and then print them out in pristine fashion. This all means more writers and more manuscripts just at the very time that publishers are disappearing.
More writers + fewer publishers = stiffer competition to get published.
How Can Writers Cope in This Climate?
Many choose to self-publish and/or e-publish. Some even form their own publishing companies. Others learn how to publish or pay big bucks to have someone else do it for them. They ride the wave of excitement, knowing it might toss them at any moment.
Writers must learn to have multiple options on the go at all times. Novels, shorts stories, articles, blog posts, freebie giveaways–all of these things and more are necessary.
Put Your Satisfaction Back In Your Own Hands.
Find the thing about your writing that makes you happy and create situations for that to occur. Read books like the Chicken Soup series (there must be one for writers!) that make you feel good. Read books that accentuate finding the positives in life. (The Secret.) Find the creativity in photography, quilting, woodworking, beading, painting. Get exercise walking, swimming, biking, hiking, skiing.
Be with others. Just now I’m in the chorus for a rendition of The Music Man where I interact with 47 other cast members, not to mention the behind-the-scenes workers. Not only am I having fun but new experiences mean new ideas for writing projects.
How Will You Keep Happy in Your Writing Dream?
What do you do to hold on to your writing dream while those all around you are losing theirs? Please leave a comment telling about it.
Coming Soon! A free giveaway of tips for writers!