Writing is Work (and Work is Hard)

Lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my life seem to discredit the fact that my writing–and everything that goes along with it, from research to marketing and more–is actually work. I’ve had people say to me, over and over again, “Wow, you’re so lucky, you just get to sit around and write all day!” And, I mean, yeah. I am lucky. Or, at least, I will be when that’s my full time job and I’m able to support myself with it. But, the thing is, even when I do reach that point, it isn’t going to be all fun and games. In fact, it’ll be less fun and games than it is right now.

You see, even though I love writing with my whole heart, and even though it’s a passion of mine, it isn’t just a hobby, which I think is how a lot of people view it. Writing my novel isn’t like coming home and plopping down in front of the tv, knitting needles in hand. It’s more like going to a job you love. Sure, you love it, but it’s still a job. I still have responsibilities and deadlines, and it takes a lot of brainpower to create people and places out of thin air. Plus, editing. Just… editing. If these people who thought writing was all fun and no play had any idea what editing is like, they’d change their tune in a heartbeat. Anyway, I digress.

I just wish people understood that, right now, writing is my part-time job. Not only that, but I’m not even being paid for the hours I put into creating this novel. I’m working another job just to support my writing career. Now that’s stressful. And I’m not even out of school yet. I’m still living with my parents and riding the wave of student loans before debt and destruction come crashing down around me. Imagine what things’ll be like after I graduate. I shudder at the thought, especially since I’m graduating this year… I’m doomed. It was nice knowing all of you.

Anyway, if you’re a writer, do you know what I’m talking about? Have people said things like this to you? And doesn’t it make you want to rip your hair out? If you’re not a writer, hear my plea. Don’t act like writing is easy, or not a real job. And dear god, even if you still think it, just don’t say it to a writer. One of us is bound to snap eventually, and I don’t think you want to be on the receiving end of that shitstorm. So be nice to your friendly neighborhood writers. And maybe donate a few bucks to our ever-dwindling savings accounts. Lord knows we need all the help we can get.

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