I am a writer. Sometimes I love being a writer, it’s wonderful. And sometimes … it’s not so great. There’s a lot of struggle involved, masses of self-doubt and the most awful sense of failure when you receive that rejection or bad review. So I started thinking, why do I do it? The answer is because I love it (yes, I know, already said that) and because the good things outweigh the bad.
|With friends before the RNA Gala Dinner - on of the perks of being a writer|
Just to remind all you writers out there of this, I thought I’d list them here:
- The best, the very best, is the losing yourself in words. It doesn’t happen every time you sit down to write but when it does it’s an amazing feeling. You are in the story. Your fingers can’t type fast enough. Those characters and that place are REAL.
- It gives you the excuse to be nosy, sorry, curious about other people
- It gives you the excuse to research all sorts of weird topics
- It gives you the excuse – or even the impetus – to visit some amazing places
- You make friends. Good friends. People you would never have met otherwise. Most of these will be other writers, but they may also be bloggers, reviewers, readers. The internet is an especial help here as you can make those connections so much more easily these days.
- You discover there are so many groups out there who want to help writers. They’re fun to belong to as well as being extremely useful. Currently I’m a member of Dumfries Writers (although I’ll be leaving them, sob, when we move north), the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Writers Scotland, Scottish Association of Writers, Society of Authors, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Friends and Writers. Some are informal groups, some professional bodies. All very helpful (I’d encourage any writer out there who thinks they’re not a ‘joining person’ to start joining – I did and have never regretted it!)
- And if all that wasn’t enough, there are all those brilliant books that get recommended, and discussions about books, that you will never be able to have with non-writing friends in quite the same way. You know, all that technical stuff about pov swops and pace and narrative arcs. Yes, that can be fun too.
The obvious final plus for this list is being published. And that is great, no doubt about it. But possibly even better is when you get a positive comment or good review from a reader. Now that really does make writing the best career to have.