And No I’m Not Talking About You

So, I love writing. Obviously.
I am the very happiest when I am writing, fingers flying over the keys, totally present in the moment and yet in another time and place and heart entirely.
Full-up joy. Even when I want to tear my hair out, even on the days where I want to hide under the bed and cry with the interminable waiting of it all, there is nothing else in the whole wide world I would rather do.
I like to encourage creativity and be a force for positivity in the world and etc.
But. Lately I have come across this phenomenon that leaves me ranty. Literally, I just emailed my bestie all JESUS CHRISTMAS GRRR.
The phenomenon: people thinking it’s easy. People thinking, oh, la, anyone can write a book.
Writing a book is not a LARK. I mean, you can try it. But you should know that it’s not going to come out of your head fully formed and gorgeous, like a baby freaking Athena. It is probably going to be a steaming pile of poo.
In that sense, I suppose, lots of people could write a book. But if you mean a good book–a publishable book–that’s something else entirely.
It’s not just pounding out a draft. It’s taking that draft, that labor of love, that beautiful brainchild, and letting smart people read it. And then listening when they tell you, honestly, what works and–more importantly–what doesn’t work. Not hiding under the bed and crying and ranting about they just don’t get it but actually taking their advice. Thinking about it critically. Writing is ripping out those pretty sentences and scenes because they don’t serve the book and writing new ones. Better ones. And then you do that all over again. You revise until it is the very best you can make it.
If you have a tiny persistent voice that tells you maybe it’s good enough now, you know what? It’s not. You’re being lazy. Fix it again.
Meanwhile, you read books in your genre, you read blogs by authors and industry professionals, and you learn. You research. Consider it your apprenticeship, your grad school hours. And even when you have made it the very best you can–you and your smart, honest, wonderful readers–you are at the very beginning of the process. There’s still querying. And then submissions.
Did I mention the interminable, brain-crunching, heart-pounding waiting?
It’s worth it. If you really, really love it, it is totally worth it. 

But it’s not fucking easy.

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