I realized afterwards that my post yesterday was not entirely fair. I had allowed how I might have been feeling recently – which wasn’t great – combined with that #happy #lifeswonderful #kisseveryone Instagram post I saw that irked me, to drive that blog post too much towards emphasizing the “miseries” of being a writer. I think now the other side deserves a nod.
Yes, there are downsides. Those are indeed very real. And anyone who takes up writing should be aware of them.
But how about some of the upsides? In raising that question, I won’t address it with a sappy set of offerings and memes and #lovewriting #lovelife #lovepuppies hashtags. Rather I want to share some realistic good things about being an author. A list of the first few that come to my mind:
1) The satisfaction gotten in crafting from literally nothing – the cliched “blank page” – something (hopefully) gripping and maybe even a bit educational for readers. The finished product produces a sense of accomplishment that is hard to match. It is truly “uplifting” to be approached – without asking for the opinion – by someone who says they have enjoyed your book.
2) The creation of something that will outlast us. (Music and art are similar in this.) We will all disappear someday. Our books will remain. (Although I suppose some might see the
awful books remaining as not a positive… oops, sorry, sorry, there I go again with drifting to negative. I apologize. We are being #positive here!)
3) As it should for readers, writing allows us as the author to escape briefly to somewhere else. Frankly I admit that there have been times when I am writing that I am concentrating so hard that my mind goes nearly oblivious to anything else happening around me. More than once, working at home alone, I was so engrossed when I was sitting at my desk and tap tap tapping a scene… that when the doorbell rang unexpectedly I nearly hit the ceiling. That sort of trance-like mental escape is, I feel, refreshing: it is good for both mind and soul.
4) Writing allows us to offer statements about the wider world. No one really cares what you or I think about anything; but writing fiction allows us to speak our minds through our characters and to imbue their world with values and ideas that are important to us. In doing so, we may offer points contextually and subtly; that’s far better than snarky real world tweets or nasty blog posts.
5) Last but not least, writing fiction provides us with the ability maybe to GET EVEN with real people we DISLIKE. Over five novels, I admit I have several times dropped in secret, private digs at certain aggravating individuals. Doing that has helped me feel better…
…but no excerpt here, though, of one of those! LOL!
Have a good day, wherever you are reading and/or writing. 🙂