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Alas, Poor Author

To write or not to write, that is the writer’s question? Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous friends and family while glued to the keyboard or to take up arms against this writing obsession and by opposing, end it—if only for a time.

To write or not to write isn’t really a question. Writers write, it’s what they do. There’s no vacation or time off for good behavior. That is not to say writers do nothing else or do not step away to refresh the screen in their heads. However, you may rest assured that even when they are not pecking away at a keyboard or scribbling on scraps of paper, they are writing.

A faraway dreamy look may come over them or a sudden brightness illuminate their face as if an interior light has been switched on. Those are sure signs clandestine writing is going on.

Striking a life/work balance is all the rage these days. Writers don’t do that. In a way, they can’t because life, for them, is not something that goes on apart from writing. To write well, a writer must live as fully and as passionately as possible. Love, hate, rejoice, hurt, win, and lose with all your heart—then, you have something to write about.

Writers are told to write what they know. That may not always make for a happy story. It will always make for a good story. Fiction is only skin deep. Beneath that, it is the bone, sinew, and blood of the author.

It is possible to write a bestseller using only technique, plot, and carefully chosen words. It happens all the time. Some writing sells because it fits a formula. Some writing sees the light of day because the About the Author page checks certain boxes. Other writing does well because it is a lingering echo of writing past.

Successful writing is about the degree to which the author has delivered his/her soul to the pages. That and the number of arrows protruding from their back.

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