Now, of course, removing a transmission is a wildly complicated and difficult process, a little like saying Step One: Animate the monster or Step One: Walk on the moon. In my family, the term has become synonymous with comically difficult tasks– such as writing a book.
But it is also important to find a healthy, sustainable balance between the business and creative sides of your work, or you can find yourself wasting a lot of precious time on to do items with low ROI.
So where do you begin?
For a writer, reading is the equivalent of a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, a baker trying new ingredients, a computer specialist downloading new program updates. Reading isn’t an escape, it’s an education, it’s how we as writers continue to write.
Being a writer is romantic. It’s dramatic. It’s a great conversation starter at parties. Being a writer carries an air of mystery that doesn’t reveal just how many light nights you spent crouched over your edits or pacing around your bedroom looking for names, conflicts, titles or anything that might help you crack through your writer’s block. On paper, if you’ll pardon the pun, being a writer seems like a pretty easy gig.
Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing. You don’t need your wits about you to write. Writing is the easiest part of the whole process. You lay everything out on the table and then, later on, you can deal with all the issues.
Well, now it’s later on, and now I have to deal with the issues.
They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while.
But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.
The constructive critique is a vital tool and not just for the reasons you think. While there is much to be gained from new sets of eyes reading and analyzing your work, the value of a critique, whether in a classroom, writing group or on a peer-to-peer basis, is undeniable.
Every writer has their own style and approach to a story. Some research first, others outline and plan, and some dive right in with nothing more than a name and a vague idea for where their novel might end up. As you can probably guess, I’m not one of those people.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job.
And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
Because I am a mad scientist writer with my hand in several pots all at the same time, I need to be organized. Really freaking organized.