My writing rant

People who want to be writers baffle me. Those who write and publish don’t say, “I want to write”-they just do it. The ones who look at you wistfully and say, “I’m going to write a book” or “My book is going to be a bestseller” and haven’t even written the first page—yeah, that’s who I’m talking about.

They need to quit talking about it, and get on with it. I mean, what’s stopping them? The world today is a lot different than it was when I was getting a book out for the first time. You don’t have to go through a trad publisher to get your words to a reading public any longer. No more wait time. No more agent seeking, editor search. No more.

But the real question is: if you talk about writing a book all the time, but don’t, why are you so determined it is something you want to do? I write because I have to. I love it. It is something that I have done all my life and would do even if no one ever read it. I would do it if I never made a dime at it. That is true love, y’all.

Do you really think it so easy? It’s not. TRY IT. No cheats though. You have to WRITE it – forget the voice activated software. It has to be a real book. It has to have a beginning, middle, and end. It has to be at least 60,000 words or approximately 250 pages long. No cheating. Try it. You may quit talking about writing. You may realize that what you are saying is, “I want to be a published author and make a bazillion dollars with a bestseller like _________ does.”

In other words, you want to HAVE WRITTEN.

Writing doesn’t work that way. Heck, publishing doesn’t work that way. Getting a book written is just the beginning of troubles. Then comes edits, and more edits. Then formatting the darn thing for every one of the eReaders out there and believe me, there are plenty. Don’t make it appealing to only one of them and see those owners scream at you for poor formatting.

Why would anyone want to do that to themselves? Well, as I said, it’s a love of mine. I can write in the middle of anywhere. Not like I have to hide it. And today, with so many great digital ways of communication, it’s easier than ever.

If I didn’t have this PSYCHOTIC desire to create something readable, I would quit. I really would. I have tried many times. I can’t.

If I didn’t write I could get so much more done in my life. I could go back to school, work on my fat ass, have a really killer house, or any of a million other things.

And I believe I could be really good at other things, I mean, I could be a chef. I love to cook. I can whip a lot of good food out. But even if I have Paula Deen coming over to teach me, I couldn’t do it, because I am a writer.

That’s who I am, not just what I do.

I guess I am scratching my head over here wondering why people think writing a book is such a great way to go. I don’t agree. I think it is a grueling, painful, experience that makes us all groan. There are a whole lot better ways to create something.

The honest truth is, I am such a lover of the written word that I get high from it. Seriously. There is something weird that happens when we are in the middle of a good story and the writing is flowing like no tomorrow. We look up from our keyboards and hours have passed.

It just feels so good. I love it. It makes me happy. It makes me feel alive to have done something that involved. But it isn’t for everyone.

And someone who thinks that writing is just about getting published are nuts. So many books are just thrown up out there hoping to find a market. What the heck are they thinking? It is not like that.

So, I gotta end this tirade, it’s making me crazy. Maybe that’s the point… writers are crazy, nuts, psychotic asshats. So if you even remotely fit in that description, maybe YOU ARE A WRITER? Just don’t think it’s going to be easy. And please, PLEASE don’t make others think that.
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About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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