Being a writer

First, I’d like you to watch this video. It’s really short, and I assure you it won’t be a waste of your time. Then, I’d like to tell you how much I agree with what Chuck Lorre had to say about writing.

I’m an ardent believer in the fact that all great writing comes from a place of truth, from a place well hidden inside our soul. I believe that those elements that are based on our own experiences, faults, and beliefs give substance to a story. I can see many writers who are reluctant about that. I can also understand why. It’s the most difficult thing to do. Once you start writing about yourself, in one way or another, you realize how difficult it really is.Being a writer is tough. It’s probably one of the most difficult jobs on the Planet. Because it’s the one job where, no matter how successful you become, you always have to start with a blank page. A page that doesn’t know and neither cares who you are. And that is frightening. Also, if you’re a real writer, you’ll never get the feeling that you’re good. You’ll still feel like writing shitty drafts, there will always be plenty of room for doubt.

Being a writer also means that to some people you might be the best writer ever and to some you’ll be the worst. Art is subjective; you should get used to criticism if you want to make it.

Being  a writer is also about perseverance. You have to write and write and write. The world excepts nothing less than this kind of commitment from you. It’s a world of small steps – so small that at times you’ll feel like standing still. It’s also a world where shortcuts are short lived.

And, in the end, the world of a writer is a world where all odds are against you. Statistically, you’ll never earn enough to make a living out of writing alone.

So, patience is a virtue.

There are no shortcuts, no easy way out.

But if you write something you feel strongly about, people will respond. People will either love it or hate it, will either love you for it or hate you for it. Also, it means exposing yourself, it means that you have to be willing to let others dissect your most intimate thoughts.

Writing may be one of the most solitary of jobs, but it also means that you have to be willing to share your work with the world, to let everyone know who you are and how you feel. And no matter how you call your writing, no matter if you make it wear the camouflage of fiction, it’s still you, just you underneath all the embellishments.

In a way, there’s this odd convention at work. Readers read fiction, knowing it’s just made believe, but they also know that every story holds a bit of truth, a bit of the artist. The empathy of it all, the parts that are to be hated or loved. To be understood, absorbed, discarded as fake, irrelevant, harmful.

Writing is about people. It’s not about characters or pretty phrases. It’s about being honest to yourself, about analyzing who you are as a person. In a work of fiction, just like in a dream, you’re each and everyone of the characters. And those parts, the parts based on the real world, are always the ones that shine the brightest.

Every time I sit at my desk and start writing I know that it’s going to be painful. There’s no anesthetic, no painkillers. If you write real stories, it never comes easy. It’s always frightening. It’s not just work, just another job. It’s not enjoyable. It’s painful.

Some might rightfully ask, “Why write? If it hurts, why even bother?”

It’s not masochism, it’s realizing that all great things require a sacrifice. There’s no way to avoid it. The rewards come after you finish writing. When you realize that your story affects people, that it makes them laugh or cry, that it makes them think, it makes them smile. But the act of writing is not meant to be easy, fun, pleasurable.

The act of writing is just as painful as sticking a needle through your skin. In time, you might get used to the pain, but it will never stop hurting.

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16 comments on “Being a writer

  1. Thank you. I know exactly what you mean. I was writing my last post, and I kept on saying to myself, this is crap, this is crap, this is crap. I believe you are your own worst and hardest critique. But you learn and grow, and that is what is important.

    I know that you are striving to make your dream come true, I would just like to thank you for inspiring others, even when we feel like we are writing is crap.

  2. wallacecass says:

    You were right, this wasn’t a waste of time and in reinforces what I’ve believed for a very long time. Writing what you love is the best feeling ever and it really does show to the people who read it. Thanks for sharing this and I will be reblogging this to my blog. :)

  3. creolita says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  4. Derek Walker says:

    Beautiful video and post. Thank you

  5. bharatispen says:

    Yes,writing is a tough job.In our writings we project our feelings,thoughts ,our view points,our emotions and dreams through different characters of fiction.Exposing our deepest thoughts before the whole world is not easy.And there is always a feeling that we could not express it properly.It is not good enough to get published .This makes us leave the work half way.Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of your writing.

  6. The more you write the more you understand yourself.

  7. zohaibamjad1 says:

    One question that arises is that how do you deal with criticism or do snarky remarks really matter at all. In some cases, you may or may not get lucky. Does the writer write for himself or does he write for the people? In my opinion, reading avidly and broadening your perspectives about Earth and this universe sows the seeds for writing that starts to affect people. After all, the roots of writing lie with observation and experiences. It is a form of discussion between the audiences and the writer which is being propelled forward. It is not only about the reader or the writer, but the unity of experiences as a whole. So let us not digress and believe in unity on different heirarchies.

  8. SHIVANGI MEHTA says:

    an awesome post again……….thanks for sharing.

  9. sonworshiper says:

    Well said. And great comments from Chuck in the video. I have a friend who told me “Hey, I’m thinking about starting to write.” He’s seen me get my NaNoWriMo novel done and published in CreateSpace, he’s looked at my fantasy novel draft some years back. Maybe he thinks, “If THAT guy can do it…”
    But he asked for advice, and my thoughts were “you are going to think you suck. And people may like your work, so you’re going to doubt their praise, know you suck, and want to be better. But the best advice I’ve heard recently is ‘You have to be willing to suck at this long enough to become good.’ So do it, and enjoy the ride.”

  10. Nya Burns says:

    That pain is exactly why I never finish a novel but leaving something unfinished causes its own pain. Very well said.

  11. CaroleeZ says:

    Thank you. Funny as it may sound you actually answered many questions I was asking myself these past few days.

  12. abirajadurai says:

    Thanks for this. You have great content, and your pieces always provoke my thoughts. I’ll definately be using this advice!

  13. Just ran across your blog, and couldn’t agree with you more. I have a blog about the struggle to survive after child abuse and domestic violence. nice to meet you.

  14. Absynaesthene says:

    To a large degree, i agree with Mr. Lorre. Where we differ is when he says that if you love it, someone else will love it too. It seems to me that he’s saying that you publish and let the chips fall where they may. In some exceptional cases this is true, but in most cases marketing, weather it’s done by the institution that publishes or by the writer themselves is very, very important to the success of a book. I wish it were always as simple as writing and simply publishing. I don’t however, want to discourage anyone from writing. What I do want to convey is that a considerably stalwart spinal column will need to either exist or be acquired.
    i totally agree with his comment in which he states that he cannot imagine not writing. I know exactly how he feels and I’m sure all of us who write agree. Thank you for sharing.

  15. anastaciatee says:

    i have recently created my own blog thelifeofanat and i think that it will really help me understand myself and improve my writing skills.when people criticize your writing it just shows that they took time to read what you wrote and that should count for something.

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