Being a writer is hard

Jessica Bakkers

In no other career does ‘going to work’ depend on having the muse Calliope descend and bless you with inspiration (okay, artists everywhere are afflicted with this too).

Yet ask most laypeople their opinion of writers and you’ll get a hazy hybrid of JK Rowling and a hobo. We’re either a few days away from publishing The Next Big Thing, or a few days away from destitution (yes, I know which analogy better suits).

Few other careers require an explanation or long-winded speech following the epitaph “I’m a [insert career here]”, yet should you utter “I’m a writer” you’re likely have to jump through the following hoops;

“Oh yeah? What have you written?” Prove it.

“No I mean what books have you written?” Because a writer only writes books.

“Do you make any money doing it?” Doubtful.

“Can I read something?” Let’s be clear, I don’t want to buy something…

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5 thoughts on “Being a writer is hard

  1. It’s a hustle if only people had an idea what writers go through in order to deliver a nice piece. Unfortunately the readers only look at the results, they have no idea what kind of hell goes on in the background.

  2. What a great read. I took a career break from my day job to pursue writing, but wanting to avoid those kinds of interrogations and conversations, I lied to most people at work and said I was just planning to “travel and don’t know what else.”

  3. My most often heard reply to the statement that I have a published book and another under contract is and I quote “You know, I have toyed with the idea of writing a book as well. I have lots of ideas, but (and here the explanation differs as to why they don’t write)… My response is to smile and say, “Hmm, I understand.” When asked how I find the time, I say something along the lines of “Well, children must be fed.” That is how I look at my writing. It is a duty, an obligation I must fulfill. But I will say it took me years to get to that place. Plus I tell people that I am tired of all the voices in my head telling me what to say.

  4. This was great and so refreshing to read. I thought I was the only person that gets the twisted face and millions of questions.
    But I take pride in it like I take pride.

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