Being a writer



A reminder that cats make terrible beta readers but are great at inducing writer’s block.

If you’re a novel writer, blogger, or poet, you’ve heard one or more of these worthless rhinestones of advice presented to us as priceless gems:

  • “Get a real job.”  (From the man who hates his job and is counting the days to retirement)
  • “You have a better chance of winning the lotto than being a successful writer.” (From the guy who won $50 in the lotto 10 years ago and continues to pay out $10 a month for lotto tickets)
  • It’s a waste of time.”  (From the person who spends 4 hours each night watching game shows and reality TV)
  • You’ll never make any money writing.”  (From the millionaire who never pays for anything if he can get it for free).

I’ve found that most of the people who tell you to give up writing and do something “meaningful” with your life cannot fathom the depth of this one essential truth about us:

Writing IS life.

All of us continue to stumble and fall over our inexperience.  We make mistakes.  We trust the right people, we trust the wrong people, and learn to trust our instincts along the way as we find balance in both our strengths and weaknesses.  

That’s the painful part about writing.

When we’re writing we exist out of time and space.  We create alternate universes, present the poetry of life in a few words, live through the characters in our books or give others a chance to live a part of our lives through our blogs.  At the end of the day we have a paragraph, a chapter, a post, a poem, or a finished draft.

That’s the joy of writing and, believe me, it greatly outweighs the pain.

No amount of money can buy the friendships made through blogging, the satisfaction of writing a poem that is meaningful to readers, or the thrill of holding a copy of our first book in our hands.

At the end of your life, would you rather say, “I hated my job and squandered my time watching TV, but once I won $50 in a lotto…”

…or would you rather make those copies of poems and blogs, do what it takes to get your book published, and be the person who can pass along to your family the tangible proof that you were more than a name on a genealogy chart?