Monday, August 3, 2015

Writing Success is Like an Iceberg

Now that I have a blog that's all about the writing process, I want to address something thts one of my biggest peeves - the perception that writing full-time is easy.

The problem is that readers see only one thing, the finished product. They're blind to everything that goes into the eriting process. I guess in a way that's good, because your writing should feel effortless.

This blog and post aren't for readers but other writers, so I don't have any qualms about peeling back the facade.

All writing takes longer to produce than to read. You put together multiple drafts, brainstorm, plot, tweak, revise, edit, etc. for each piece. This holds true for a blog post like this. Over time you get faster at the process, but it still requires time.

Another factor of writing that people don't see is the level of persistance that's needed to be a success at it. I can't even begin to tell you how much rejection I've faced as a writer. I've had people tell me I suck right to my face, been trashed by strangers on the Internet, and even have lost friends because of my career choice. It's crazy, and that's why readers will never guess what all writers must pass through on the pathway to success.

I have a friend who's a successful photographer. Years ago he decided to write a book and had the attitude that he'd written papers, so a book wouldn't be that hard. His book ended up being short and pretty simple, but said that the process of writing it just about broke him. He then asked how I did what I do day-in and day-out. That's the thing, many people can be brilliant if they write just an occasional thing, but it's much harder to be brilliant while producing enough to pay the bills. It takes more than just skill. The sheer determination required to make it as a writer is well above the level readers can ascertain.

People always seem to forget that writers have to be their own promoters. You can't just write a bunch of things and then hope that people find out about them through some magical process. In today's market, writers are expected to push their own work. You need to be good at social media, blogging, and more. Oh, and having some graphic design/photography skills certainly doesn't hurt.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to belabor the point. Writing is far more work than readers ever see, which is why so many people I run into say they want to be writers as well. At the risk of being arrogant, I think the vast majority of those individuals really don't want to be full-time writers, because the cost of doing business is far too great.

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