Writing is hard work. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know anything about it. As harsh as that may sound, it’s the truth. That’s not to say writing can’t be and isn’t fun. If it isn’t fun for you when you write, you really shouldn’t be doing it. What I am saying is that a whole lot of work, effort, sweat, tears, and blood (if you happen to print stuff out and give yourself a paper cut) goes in to creating the novel which, many times, just sits on a shelf collecting dust or sits as a series of 1s and 0s on someone’s electronic bookshelf without being opened more than once.
Why does this matter? Well, writers and authors are real people with feelings, thoughts, emotions, and sincere, deep-seated doubt threatening to overcome them at any one given time. When they go through the effort of putting something down on paper and letting the world see it in published form, they are giving you a glimpse into all the work they’ve put into it. That book collecting dust on your shelf is a very real, very intimate and important part of that author’s life.
We all, every one of us, dread that what we’ve written, despite all our best efforts, despite the editors, beta readers, family, friends, mailmen, co-workers, etc who have given input and advice on the book, is complete garbage. We have that moment of pure fear and self-doubt as books come off of physical and cyber shelves. We wait for those first reviews and experience the highs and lows of every single comment and criticism we receive. And we keep writing.
Why? Well, mostly because we’re crazy. You have to be a little nuts to do what writers do. To constantly create, to strive to improve, to keep doing what you love doing and working hard despite the criticism or, conversely, dealing with the pressure of living up to the awesome book you just put out, is mildly crazy. It’s like running into a firefight, dodging bullets, taking hits, and still getting back up and doing it all over again. We learn more each time we write – we get better each time we diligently try – we rise up from the ashes and bloom into the roses of success.
So, to you authors and writers I say – write on. Be crazy. It’s kinda fun. Keep up the hard work and diligent effort. Improve. Learn. Grow. To you readers/reviewers/fans out there I say this – remember that authors and writers are people too. We have feelings and, if you don’t like something, please be specific so we can use that as an opportunity to grow. Mostly though, remember to be kind for two reasons. First, remember, we’re kinda crazy and it’s not polite to mock crazy people. Second, we’re people too. We’re just as scared of you as you may be of us. To all, write on.