Monday, December 15, 2014

Writing 101: Can You Always Come Last?

I've said this several different times, and in a few different ways, but here it is: it's really, really hard to be a writer. It's hard in ways you won't think of and hard in ways you can't even imagine. It doesn't get easier. And even if you still want to do it after reading that, and I know you do, you have to ask yourself a question: can you always come last? Because when you are a writer, you probably will. 

From Hero to Zero

Even if you don't use an entirely different pen name, like I do, you have to create an entire new persona when you're in author mode. You can't put all your opinions out there on social media, you have to stay polite and professional even when someone is coming at you with criticism, and above all you've got to keep writing. You have to write, and you have to research. You have to edit. And of course, you've got to promote. Then you've got to make the cover, and the trailer, and write a blurb... 

In other words, you -- the real you -- is going to come last. And you're going to come last all the time. 

If you're like a lot of indie authors, you also have a day job. While you're doing your job, you've got to be in your professional work persona. For some, that may be another pen name. You may work as a writer, or want to, and that means being someone other than yourself. And either way, you have to put your work responsibilities ahead of what you really want to do, which is hang around and write (probably). 

But once work is over, you'll have to fulfill your indie responsibilities. You'll have to do all that researching and promoting that we talked about. If there is any time left over, you probably have average life responsibilities. You'll have to bathe yourself, and straighten things up, and all those other mundane tasks that take up a lot of time. 

If you still have time after all that, then you can take time for yourself. But remember this: you always come last. Use it for motivation, and go write about it.

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