We’ve been told that from outside the view is delightful, nearly enthralling, and with a sublime vision of what it’s like to be inside ─
A cabin in the woods, far away from all that’s wrong with modern civilization… well, apart from the computer, and electricity to power the computer, and some modern way to pay the electricity bill, and a smart phone, and everything else to keep the cabin functioning properly in these modern times.
An unending supply of coffee, chocolate and butter… because butter makes everything better.
And plaid jackets… because, well it’s plaid.
From inside, this perception is shocking, to say the very least.
There’s usually no cabin in the woods, unless you’ve successfully written and propagated at least two hundred and forty thousand, seven hundred and sixty four words.
Yes, there’s coffee, with the accompanying headaches… and withdrawal symptoms when you decide it’s bad fuel to live on.
There’s chocolate, butter and bills to pay.
And plaid jackets… because, well, it’s plaid.
But beyond these essentials, and others which shall not be named here, the disparity in the views gained from outside and inside is gaping.
We’re talking whipping up the courage to face blank pages.
Bleeding blood, sweat and words on said pages.
Shushing inner naysayers that tell you to pack and go home, and not torture unsuspecting readers with your terrible idea of what writing is.
There’s the abiding question of whether or not blogging counts as actual writing.
Then there’s rewrites.
And some more….
And then there are editors ─ nothing against these precious people really, but still…
Take my editor for instance….
It’s like I pay her to make my life miserable. No matter how hard and diligently I work on a piece, she’d send it back with red marks all over it and a note telling me to “stop playing and take this writing thing seriously”.
What! I spent six hours of my life working on that story!
OK, fine, one hour. But I like to call the preceding five hours, research. Because all that time reading Facebook comments and memes really did add to the story.
Every time I tell her so though, she says I’m only proving her point.
There’s also this other question ─
“So what do you do?”
Really? Is that seriously supposed to be a question? What else would we write? Words, people! We write words!
We show up every time, and we write… words ─
Hoping that the inner naysayers are wrong and that the words we write would somehow achieve the purpose we’ve set out to fulfill.
And who knows?
Maybe we would reach two hundred and forty thousand, seven hundred and sixty four someday, and get the cabin in the woods with just enough coffee to skip the headaches and withdrawal symptoms….
There’d still be chocolate.
And plaid jackets… because ─ you guessed it ─ it’s plaid.
But till then we write.
And edit some more….
Welcome to the WriteLife.
You’re welcome to take the pledge with us ─
I’m a writer.
I will not dread edits, rewrites, and definitely not my editor.
I will write, rewrite, and not use cleaning my house as an excuse to not email my editor.
This is my WritePledge.
Note to fellow insiders ─
We should do something about this pledge… edit it maybe? I could email my editor.
Or not! We already know what she’d do, and it’s hard to deal with those red marks twice in one week.
This post may be linked up with these encouraging writers.