This writing thing…it’s hard work

Yes, I am an agent. But oh did I used to write, my friends, I wrote. Not novels, not short stories, not poetry. Nope, this girl is a trained journalist. So in a small, tiny way, I get it. I understand how hard it is to write. I understand writer’s block. I understand laboring and sweating over word usage. I understand rejection, red pens, copy editors, and the feeling of impending failure.

Recently, I spoke with a client who mentioned that the week after he signed with me, he had nightmares and couldn’t sleep. He was so stressed because now he was (roughly paraphrased) expected to deliver the goods. Last night I signed a wonderful talent, and if I may quote directly from her blog, she said “I lay in bed swooning over the good fortune that had befallen me when – like a bird into glass – the thought hit me: I could fail miserably. Not only could, but very likely might for there is an immense amount of writers out there who continuously blow the stacks off chimneysI lay in bed with my face in the pillow. Oh Dear Lord what have I done.” (You can read the whole post here)

With her post, she included an original painting. Which inspired me to write this post.

“Will Work for Success.” Hmmm…

I told her that this should be the elixir of motivation for all writers. This isn’t just a motto. It should be your doctrine as a writer. William Faulkner said, “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.” Do these come easily? Maybe to some. But for most, these require work.

This is a tricky game. It takes hard hard work. It takes experience, observation, and imagination. It take perseverance. And it takes chances. You will have trouble writing but you will write because you have these qualities. And you will continue to write because you have worked hard for these attributes.

But you must “Work for Success.” Every successful book has a motivated and hard working author behind it.

6 thoughts on “This writing thing…it’s hard work

  1. Boy howdy, did I need this now! A friend asked me if I was still floating on air after having signed with you. I said, “Um, I’m more like in freak-out mode that my book is going out on sub. It’s all REAL now. ARGH!!!”

    But yes, of course I’m happy. I’m thrilled and excited . . . and scared. But it’s a cool kind of scary, like anything can happen, ya know? LOVE the painting, btw. What an honor to be among such talented people. Sounds like we need a great big group hug!

  2. I can’t imagine this woman will be anything less than amazing. Just look at her blog post! Hell yes she can write, and she’ll create magnificent things.

    This post is very inspiring and totally true.

  3. What a fantastic painting, and insight to go along with it. I just attended a writer’s conference, learned more than I could have hoped for, and came away with that same feeling of “am I getting in over my head?”
    This post illustrates wonderfully (both literally and figuratively) the exact conclusion that I came to.
    Yes. It is hard work. Yes. It is worth it.
    And yes – I will work for success.
    Thank you for this post Bree, I think it is something we can all relate to.

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