RANT WARNING: WRITING IS HARD; BITCHES

HERE IS YOUR WARNING:

I am going to swear in this post. Probably a lot. And it’s PROBABLY not gonna be a very popular opinion that I spread after the cut, so if you don’t wanna read a tough truth about the nature of being an “aspiring” or “as of yet unpublished” writer, then walk away right now. If you’re offended by cussing you might wanna skip this too. (I apologize in advance for swearing but since this is my blog, I”m gonna do it anyway.) So if you want to read the rest of this rant, then click the button. If not, I understand and you can message me on Twitter for the tl;dr no swearing point. To read the rest, hit the jump.

You know what I’m really getting sick of?

Writers — published, aspiring or otherwise — who spew all sorts of cuddly, flower-scented bullshit whilst wearing rose-coloured glasses that does nothing but paint pretty images into the heads of those who follow/read/admire/worship them.

It’s all great and fine and dandy to say that you “write to heal your soul” or “write because your brain would melt if you didn’t” or any of those other fancy schmansy purple prose laden tweets that are meant to inspire and make you look smarter than you are. I do it sometimes, too. I’m all for getting rid of words like “aspiring” in your vocabulary because removing that word changes your outlook. You’re no longer an “aspiring writer” you become a “WRITER”, which is what you want. So get rid of aspiring and see what you change with this way of thinking. (This point, by the way, is my mantra and fuck you if it makes me a self-important douche.)

These bite-sized pieces of chocolate-coated bullshit that float around the internet and fill up my twitter feed from all my “aspiring writer” friends piss me off to no end. (AND THE FACT THAT YOU STILL CALL YOURSELF AN ASPIRING WRITER PISSES ME OFF TOO! DO YOU WRITE? (and try to write everyday?) THEN YOU’RE A GODDAMN WRITER. UGH!)

Yes, I’ll admit, at one point I was one of the people who liked to read these supposed affirmations. I liked to know that it wasn’t just me who was having trouble with writer’s block or self doubt or finding an agent/getting a book deal or whatever other problem you can imagine for an “aspiring” writer. (My biggest problem right now is that I’m pissed off, sober, and want to work on something that isn’t my current WIP.)

The point of view has since changed DRASTICALLY for me.

I can hear you asking why.

I’ve been writing with the intent of making it my main source of income since I was 13. I’m 27 now. So that’s 14 YEARS of honing my craft. I’ve come a LONG way. Even the shit I wrote 2 years ago wasn’t good enough to submit, not to my standards, and likely not to the standards of most publishing presses. (although, I mean, Twilight got published and so did 50 shades, and I can guarantee that my stories were written better than that but I still wasn’t comfortable sending them out!)

You know who made me realise that fact about my writing? ME. I DID. No one else. No editor, no publisher and certainly not any other writer who claims that the only way your book is good enough to be written is if it heals your soul or moves other people in some spiritual manner.

There’s more to books than coping. There’s more to books than writing to heal yourself from whatever real or made-up trauma has made you want to write. (Yes, this is a legitimate coping mechanism, I am no denying that, I’m just saying there’s OTHER REASONS and yours are no less valid than the person who writes to come to terms with the fact that s/he was raised in an abusive home, or raped, or wanted to commit suicide but didn’t, et cetera, et cetera ad infinitum.) There’s more to books than revealing some cosmic truth about yourself or about the universe or whatever other sparkly bullshit is being fed to you young impressionable types through social media.

I’m pretty sure that most Urban Fantasy books are meant for good wholesome escapism. I’m PRETTY SURE that authors like Jim Butcher and Chuck Wendig and Stephen Blackmoore wouldn’t advocate hunting dragons or ghosts or fucking around with dark magic, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOUR SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE. I’m pretty sure that most horror is meant to scare the shit out of you and leave it at that, not to make you paranoid about zombies or ventriloquist’s dummies. THIS IS ESCAPISM. Not soul-searching realism. It’s meant to be fun and entertaining, not meant to fill a hole in your soul or move you to collect antiques or never use a sponge again.

I’m tired of all of these passive-aggressive, snobbish outright BULLSHITTY affirmations rolling around on the internet. I’m tired of all the coddling. I’m tired of all these people saying “well, that’s okay, you’re special anyway.”  The way that one person does it, isn’t the way that will work for you. You want to be a writer? Awesome. You’re not a special goddamn snowflake. Do you KNOW how many writers are out there? Do you know HOW MANY PEOPLE want to tell their stories and get paid for it? It’s a lot, and protecting yourself and wrapping yourself up in the hippie pseudo-protective bullshit where all authors BLEED into their notebooks or computers to tell an earth-shattering life-changing story and excrete magical glitter that makes you a better writer JUST ISN’T GOING TO MAKE YOU A BETTER FUCKING WRITER. 

Writing, like baking, painting or carpentry, is a CRAFT. You will not be a master at it the first time you try it. You probably won’t be a master at it by the time you write your second or third or fifth novel. You know how many books I’ve written and thrown out? Two dozen. Plus countless scripts, both speculative for television and my own works. And let’s not talk about shorts/flash fiction pieces. I’ve probably tossed about 100 stories all told. Out of the 100 stories I threw out, I kept 3 that I will one day go back and try to rewrite. 3% of my stories in 14 years have potential. The rest I tossed.

If you think in terms of all the stories I have ever told are to heal or to reveal some universal truth then what does that say about my soul? What does that say about the so-called truths in my writing?

In the past 6 months I have also received 9 rejections.

In 2012 I got 3 rejections.

And I’m sitting here right now with 2 brand-new manuscripts, a movie spec, 3 TV specs, 3 more on the way, another movie spec 1/3 written, a calendar FILLED with new projects and goals, plus 2 binders with my planning notes for all of the aforementioned projects.

Writing is hard. Writing is lonely. Writing is a gateway to a world of your own imagining. It is a way to escape real life, no matter how fleeting it is.

What writing fucking ISN’T is a candy-coated way to get rich quick and make a billion dollars. Writing fucking ISN’T romantic. Writing fucking ISN’T a soul-baring, mystical journey into the heart of the human condition. (Except for the times when it is and you’re probably Hemingway or are writing a self-help book.)

Writing is something that you do, and if you’re serious about it, you will find a way to fucking do it, no matter what. You won’t sit there and read the chocolate-coated bullshit tweets. You will JUST. FUCKING. WRITE. Whether you have support or not.

Some days it’s easy, but most of the time, writing is hard. You just push on or you quit. There’s no middle ground. You can be coddled and told you’re special until the fucking cows come home and do an Irish jig on your kitchen table, but if you’re not willing to sit at your computer and suffer through self-doubt, writer’s block, life obligations and every other problem that can pull you away from your writing, ALONE, then maybe writing isn’t what you should be considering as a permanent career option.

You don’t have to be prolific. You don’t have to write a million words, or write 20,000 words a day. You don’t have to be like Stephen King or George R. R. Martin and you CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE NEXT [insert famous, best-selling author here] to be a writer, you just have to accept the harsh truth.

Writing is hard. Writing is lonely. And all the fabulous sparkly candy-coated bullshit you can force feed yourself isn’t gonna change who you are, how you write or how you cope with delays.

So really, ask  yourself: do I want to be coddled and protected or do I want to be a fucking writer and hone my fucking craft?

Because that’s all there is to it.

Now get back out there and fucking write.

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About kaikiriyama

I'm a writer. I write everything from shorts, to novels to screenplays and then some. I like comic books, ponies, zombies, pokemon, monsters, demons, vampires and mythology. I walk a fine line between badass, scary and girly. View all posts by kaikiriyama

13 responses to “RANT WARNING: WRITING IS HARD; BITCHES

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