Updated: Mar 16
Camera flashes, reporters, paparazzi, over-the-top fans with stars in their eyes; are just a few things writers rarely, if ever, see in the length of their career. Let's face it, being a writer isn't glamorous. We aren't photographed as we walk down the red carpet and asked what designer we are wearing, or who we may be dining with that evening. (Most of us writers do aspire to be that writer.)
We all can't be J.K. Rowling or even Stephen King, legends for their works and admired for their imaginations and success. It would be nice, I imagine, but a lot of writers prefer the darkened shadows of our private quarters to sit and write and let other people enjoy the limelight.
When I was young I used to watch all the award shows just to see who won best writing/writer. I was bored through the endless actors thanking God and their parents and waited as patiently as I could to the near end of the show just to see the ones who made the fore-mentioned careers possible.
I never understood why they didn't have them go first, after all, if not for their imagination, the actors wouldn't be winning an award. It was their words they brought to life, give them a bit more glory and recognition than having to be recognized last. I no longer watch award shows and instead read about the winners online. It still saddens me that there isn't enough recognition for the writers, but they are enjoying what they do, which is all that matters.
In the new age of the internet, anyone can publish their works as self-publishing seems to be the new trend and I admit, I have done it also. It beats getting dozens of rejection letters (I've had those, too.) and you control pretty much everything. You are in control of everything. Which includes advertising. It isn't fabulous since you now have to do your own marketing. Insert the creating of websites, social media pages, Twitter, Instagram, and author sites on your online publishing programs. Reviews, marketing, editing, drafts, re-edit, outlines, more editing, and beta readers...oh my!
Whew! It's exhausting to think about let alone having to do it all. Keeping up with it, your personal life, and your responsibilities while trying to write that bestseller, makes you wonder why in the hell you even opted for this path in the first place.
That like, love, thumbs up, nice comment, and even a casual nice review instantly reminds you of all the reasons you put in the effort.
Writers don't write for fame and fortune, at least, we don't set out for that. Sure it would be nice to make money off the thing we love doing, who doesn't want a job they look forward to doing every day? It's the reaction we love the most.
The excited voices of people, whether in person or in comments; "I loved your book and can't wait for the next one!"-"It's my favorite series!"- "I can't wait to find out who the killer is!"-"This is so exciting, I can't wait for it to come out!"
That feeds my soul. I love entertaining people. To know that someone loved my stories, told other people about my stories, and wants to read them is an unbelievable feeling. I made a difference, I made someone forget reality and whatever problems and woes they had for a while. I made them smile, laugh, cry and worry about the outcome of fictional people all in a day. I let them read a part of me and they liked it. My world is now their world, too.
Writers put themselves in their work, that's why we guard it and worry over it so much. When you pick up that book you are reading a part of who we are. They aren't just words on paper and carefully constructed sentences, they are our words and our phrasing. We are what we write. It's hard for us to separate ourselves from our works. Even though we know we cannot please everyone, every harsh critique stings a little. Lemon juice on a paper cut.
Even though quitting has crossed the minds of us all, we will always continue in some way. I know I always will. Whether wealth and glory find me or not, my pen will never stop and my fingers will tirelessly caress my keyboard until my mind can no longer form the words with which to write them.
The pen really is mightier than the sword. When I am long gone, my words will still linger, my thoughts will still be present and my dream will forever live in those who read them.
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