No one takes it seriously.
*Sigh* Do you ever get those people who are like, “What do you do?” and you’re like, “I’m a writer,” and they’re like, “Oh! That’s cool,” all obligatory and shit? Yeah. We writers don’t get the respect we deserve. Unless our names are JK Rowling or Stephen King and we’re friggin’ household names, everyone treats us like we’re five-year-olds with a superhero complex.
“Who are you supposed to be, Timmy?”
“I’m Superman! Zoom, zoom!”
“Oh! That’s cool.”
There’s a lot of competition.
Like, HOLY SHIT: a lot. Every which way, there’s another aspiring writer ~ hoping to travel the same damn path you’re traveling. Makes for a crowded journey. The only consolation you have is that they are they and you are you. And they can NEVER be you. Now, you may not be a better writer, but you’re definitely different. In a good way. Use that to your advantage. Put the best “you” forward.
I suck at math. Yet, my favorite subject in school was always math. Why? Cuz there’s only one right answer. And the teacher can’t come around with her opinions and snooty ways and be like, “Hmph! That’s not correct.” Bool-sheet. It’s totally correct! Because it’s what I wrote and what I feel, and you can’t tell me what I feel, Ms. Hamilton, so HA!
Writing is based on personal experiences and beliefs, and no two people are the same so the answer is always different. This makes it hard to hit that “perfect score” with a writing project. You’ll hit good notes with some people and wrong notes with others. The trick is to stay as true to yourself as possible. No other way will get you as many notes as the truth will. Remember that.
No one really gives a shit.
This kinda goes hand-in-hand with the taking-it-seriously bit but, like, a bajillion times worse. Aside from your mom and maybe a handful of critique group pals (who are using their encouragement to mask a deep seated competitiveness), roughly ZERO POINT ZERO percent of the world’s population care that you’re a writer.
Seriously. Unless you’re a hugely popular already-published writer, the entire human race doesn’t care if your next big writing project lives or dies. You need to friggin’ write it and be like, “THERE! SEE? IT’S TOTALLY WORTH YOUR MONEY AND TIME!” Until then, you’re stuck in the limbo that is the world’s collective indifference.
It interferes with your day job.
I’m just gonna come right out and say that I love my job. I seriously do. But, much like my other daily activities, it tends to conflict with my writing. I get an idea for a book or a subject or a character, and I can’t even write it down because I’m on the phone with a customer or discussing business with my boss. And by the time 5:30pm rolls around and I’m at home, the inspiration’s gone. I guess I could take little notes during working hours ~ like, on a Post-It note or something ~ but I don’t. And Lord only knows what fantabulous ideas I’m missing out on because of it.
Writing takes a lot of work.
Being a good writer isn’t easy. Whether it’s a novel or an article or a damn haiku: it takes thought and inspiration. Mostly thought. And, yet:
It only seems to come when you’re not trying.
My greatest inspiration seems to crop up when I’m not doing anything but sitting around, thumb up my ass, ignoring my writing. Which would be great except I’m writing all the time. So, yeah. Less great.
Can’t enjoy a good book or article…
…Cuz I’m always tearing them apart for inspiration. Everything I read is a learning exercise. Like: “WHY DOES THIS PIECE OF WRITING WORK AND HOW DO I EMULATE IT IN MY OWN?” Entertainment is nonexistent. Books are entertaining? Articles can be informative? They weren’t just put on this planet to advance my own wordsmithy skillzzz? Seriously? Huh. You learn something new every day.
Can’t enjoy your own god dang work!
Think about it: you put everything you love about the written word into your project, emulating your most favorite-est writers ~ and you can never even enjoy it! You will never feel the gleeful surprise of a particularly clever turn of phrase or twist, because you came up with it. Worse, you were the one that was forced to write it! It’s the ultimate kind of torture, in my humblest of opinions.
What’s it all for anyway, man?
Writing sucks. It sucks even more when it’s not getting recognized. And it often leads to the eternal questions: What’s it all for? Are you wasting your time? Should you suck it up and focus on a real job, making real money? The answer is: if you can talk yourself out of writing, you probably shouldn’t be a writer. And it’s okay if you’re not. More room for the rest of us. Just make sure you really ponder the question.
There. Pity Post over. What do you hate most about writing? Feel free to share in the comments below.