Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Being a writer -- the Balancing Act

There are lots of hard things about being a writer. It can be damn hard to find the sweet spot, the balance. There are so many things that have to be balanced just right: left brain, right brain; editing vs creating; confidence vs insecurity.

You're really your own boss, and sometimes the boss is too easy on you, letting you waste hours surfing the net when you should be productive, and sometimes the boss is too hard, doing nothing but criticize. At times you have to totally turn off the internal editor, letting the words flow, at other times you have to be completely and totally anal, poking at every word and phrase.

Writers who are too confident may stop learning. They figure that they already know everything that they need to know. Writers who are too insecure may never finish anything, may have a hard time getting anything done over the voice inside that whispers, "you'll never write anything good, who are you to think you can compete with all those good writers?"

You have to be a good business person to manage the business of writing, yet you have to be a creative person, who lives to create story worlds. You have to be sane enough to handle life well, get things done, yet be crazy enough to think you have a chance to succeed at this.

You have to like people, be interested enough in them that creating story people is fascinating and absorbing, yet be willing to spend the majority of your day alone, putting words to paper. You have to feel things deeply enough to convey the emotions to your readers, yet be able to step back and look at it all as an observer.

You have to love to read, yet be willing to give it up for long periods of time to create things for others to read, because otherwise you'll never get anything done. You have to be motivated to sell, to write what the market demands, yet be true to yourself and write only stories that mean something to you.

When I think of everything that has to be just right, that has to be balanced between two opposing forces, I'm surprised that anybody manages to write for a living.

My congratulations to everybody out there who's done it!


1 comment:

Julie Lewis said...

Hi Sis,
Love your writing! Quite a refreshing change from all the stupidly written romances. Always remember you talking about writing a harlequin romance. This is much better.

Your long lost sister,