Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What it takes to be a writer

Last week, fellow author Lynn Emery (read her work , she's fabulous!), provided a link to a fascinating article on what it takes to be a writer. The gist of it, at least what I gleaned from reading Talent of The Room by Michael Ventura, is that a person must be willing to work hard, sacrifice, and accept that they still may not become published.

I know an alarming amount of people who mistakenly think being a writer is glamorous.'s not. It's hard. Pick up your favorite book and fan through the pages. When the author sat down to write that book, those pages (or the computer screen) were empty! The words don't just appear, and it takes a lot of work to get them down and have them make sense.

I also know a lot of people who love the idea of being a writer. They talk about this story idea they've had for years, set up their writing space, load up on craft books, even buy a laptop that will be used only for writing. But they never write the book! You have to want it enough to actually Do. The. Work! Don't just talk about it.

It doesn't take a separate home office, a rich cherry wood desk, a brand new iMac (though, damn, I want one!), or even a computer, for that matter, if you really want to be a writer. Don't get me wrong, you'll eventually have to fire up the old PC, but if you are really committed to writing your novel, all you need is a pen, paper, and your imagination. Oh, yeah, and the desire and willingness to work.

So, if you have what it takes to be a writer, go for it! Just don't kid yourself. It's not easy, not glamorous, and not a guarantee.