Sometimes I have so many ideas written down it can be overwhelming. That’s why organizing them is critical. If it wasn’t for flash drives, notes, photo albums, and word documents— it would be a mess. In my novel Gwen, I wrote about a clipper ship. I did a lot of research while writing my book. I wanted to ensure that what I was writing made sense and was correct. The clipper ship was my biggest struggle because all of the diagrams I found had different labels for each part of the ship. No one diagram was the same!
There’s plenty for me to hate about, from the annoying “I have an idea you can write about” comments to the “have you considered being a teacher?” question, always spoken like the speaker JUST came up with the most miraculous idea all by themselves, but what I hate the most are actually two things.
I hate everything that no one tells you and the image that the average bear gets when they think of the word “author.” The first step is writing but once you’ve written and finished the manuscript, no one tells you that you’re in for years of waiting around. Waiting and dead silence. Waiting for emails, re-edits, and updates from publishers and agents, then struggling to get a marketing plan going.
You only hear the instant success stories. When talking about rejection, everyone likes to mention the famous novels that were rejected and then became hot money-makers. Harry Potter is the usual go-to example. Everyone knows these success stories, and they skew the reality of it. Is that our only option? Instant success? Instant insertion in pop culture history? In the common man’s eyes, the answer is yes. If you’re not either an instant bestseller or an unconventional author with a book with a cult fan status, you’re a failure. Most likely you will not be the next big thing, but you’ll be a writer and that´s good enough.
Everything has its good points and bad points. I can’t say there is anything I don’t like. Revisions annoy me, but not to the point I dislike them. Writing to me is like breathing now. Sometimes it hurts to breathe, but that doesn’t mean I’d stop doing it.
This question is sort of like asking, what part of your body do you dislike? While we may harbor a dislike for a certain part of us, we have learned to live with it and to make the best of it.
Now, I don’t mind those who tend to think writers are strange—I kind of like that. I dislike it that others do not see writing as necessary to who I am or that I must write to maintain that essential part of me. Few understand it also requires solitude at times. Writing may be a gift, but as the old song says, “it don’t come easy”.