So You Wanna Write? Part 1: Let’s Be Real
March 31, 2014 56 Comments
At the time of this writing the only difference between you and me is that I have one published book under my belt. That may sound like a world of difference to you, but it’s really not. All that means is that I’ve written more pages than you on one conclusive story, followed some advice by attending a local writer’s group, met a local guy who publishes books, sent him my manuscript, and he sent me a contract.
That’s the birth of The Man in the Box.
Here’s how it didn’t work. I didn’t send my completed manuscript to five agents, and I didn’t get ten phone calls the next day begging me to become their client (instead, I got over 300 rejections).
The local news didn’t call me when I tweeted, “Book one: Done” (I didn’t have a Twitter account, yet).
Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC – none of them ran an exclusive story on me (no one informed them).
Barnes and Noble didn’t stay open until midnight in order to meet the demand of the release of my book (though Borders did close that week … they were that adamant about not carrying it).
That’s why these posts will be good for you. I’m not some celebrity, nor an overnight bestselling author (though, hopefully I will be by the time these posts are published and you’re reading them on your Kindle or in a hardback edition).
I’m in the same boat as you, fighting the same war on writer’s blocks, apathetic agents, and elite publishers.
I’m only one step ahead of you, and I’m offering you my help – any help I can give.
In these posts about writing, I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. There’s nothing really to romanticize about writing. Face it, it stinks. It’s a poor man’s passion.
Most of us write because we’re not good at anything else. We know how to sit and weave structured sentences together and we deceive ourselves into thinking that someone will want to pay us to keep doing that which we were taught to do while we were picking our noses in grade school.
In these posts you’re not going to hear me say, “Follow your dreams” or “If you believe in yourself enough, you’ll accomplish your goals.” If that’s the kind of crap you’re looking for, scroll down your Facebook feed for a minute or two and you’ll get your fix of shallow sap.
But if you’re looking to roll up your sleeves, face the ugly realities of writing life, take the undaunted risks, and get down to business, then these posts will be right up your alley.
Let me just conclude this section by saying this:
If I was talented or skilled at anything else but writing, I would be doing that.
Let’s be honest here, I hate writing. I really do.
But I love telling stories, and I’m good at it (I can say that because there’s very little else I can brag about, except that I make awesome pizza).
Give me a Canon XA20 and a film crew and I’d tell my stories through film (I used to be a moviemaker until it became too expensive and I became too poor).
Heck, give me a scholarship to Yale or Harvard and I’d gladly take up law (I love to act).
But for some ridiculous reason I have it built in me to tell stories, and writing is the most affordable way to do so.
I’d much rather be a plumber, but I don’t have the hands for it.
I’d love it if I were a painter, but I don’t have the eye for it.
It’d be great if Nike would sponsor me to run, but I don’t have the legs for it.
But sadly, I’m a writer. But I’m also a storyteller, and thankfully I’ve been given the heart for it. And luckily those two go hand-in-hand.
The problem is, I don’t have time to write. But because I have the heart to tell stories, I make time.
And I’m going to show you how you can, too.
Next: Part 2 – Why Write?