The “Joys” of Writing

When people find out that I’m a writer, the first thing I usually get is “Oh! I always wanted to write my novel/short story/screenplay/biography but just never got around to it.” The second thing I usually get is “Oh! That must be so fun!”

It’s not always fun.

There are deadlines, for one thing. Sometimes publishers and editors will tell me they need 10,000 words in three weeks. I can do that but I wouldn’t describe the ensuing rush as “fun.” It can be nerve-wracking depending on how hard that deadline really is.

And sometimes you have no one to blame for the annoying stuff but yourself.

Here’s a tip: if someone approaches you about writing a character you’ve never heard of, with the promise that it’ll be a great opportunity for exposure… DO NOT AGREE until you’ve looked into it some more. Because, honestly, it could be that the character doesn’t interest you in the end — or that you discover there are good reasons why you’ve never heard of that character! 🙂

Look, it’s definitely fun seeing your work out there and hearing from people that they enjoy it. But the day-to-day practice of it is like anything else: it’s a JOB. You can love your job but it’s still work.  Sometimes you have to suck it up and get it done.

And that makes me a grouchy lil’ Smurf.

4 thoughts on “The “Joys” of Writing

  1. Oh, man, do we ever agree on one point: I will never, never, NEVER again commit myself to writing about a character until I’ve done my research on that character. I’m in a situation where I’m stuck with writing a character I have ZERO interest in. But since I’ve already promised to do it….

    …and you’re right, the promise of greater exposure isn’t worth it when you’re frustrated with having to burn up valuable brain cells trying to make a silk purse outta this sow’s ear of a character when there’s other characters and stories you’d much rather be writing.

    1. David White

      I am way down the ladder as far as writing gents, but I guess I am a glass half full as opposed to half empty kind of guy. I think everyone needs a little challenge every now and then to make things not get stagnated

  2. ahlhelm

    I’ll join in on the “be careful writing characters you didn’t research”. I won’t say the character, but at least one of the stories for Pulp Obscura I wrote was for a character that was decidedly worse than I thought he was. It’s not like I couldn’t find a way to work around it, but it doesn’t serve to make the story very much fun.

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