Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In, Out, and In Again (or...So, You Think You Want A Writing Career)

I've decided that there is a difference between being a writer and having a writing career.

When I am just being a writer, I write stuff like this, or this.  I write because the words are there and because I can and because it's fun or cathartic.

When I am working as a career author, I write because I must. That is not to say that I don't want to, but simply that sometimes I must force myself to. Words don't always flow freely when a writer must write. Sometimes, pulling words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into chapters is as painful as pulling a tooth that isn't loose.

The thing is, if a person wants to have a career as a writer, she must learn the art of beginning, following through and ending.

That seems so basic and simple, but it is not. It is very easy to begin something. Ideas (at least for me) come like sunshine in the desert. Words, though, words must be crafted into scenes that transcend page and ink. Once the idea is born, it must be babied and coddled and raised into a fully developed story.

And, then, it must be patted on the head and sent out into the great wide world.

In comes the idea.

Out it goes.

In comes the next (yep, that's my new contract!)

Out it goes.

Over and over and over again.

And that means writing and writing and writing, people. Whether we're in the mood or not. Whether the kids are grumpy or not. Whether there are piano recitals and ballet shows and homeschool field trips and cat vomit on the floor or not.

We must write.

Because we want to. Because we can. Because we're being paid to.

A career means a job. No matter how much of an art writing is (and, believe me, it is), if we want to have careers we must work every day.

In with the idea.

Out with the words.

In with the next idea.

Out with the words.

That's the way it works, if we want to have careers as writers.

1 comment:

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Point taken!!! :)