Romanticized Vs the Ugly Truth of Writing a Book
The Glamorous Lifestyle
Oh what a glamorous lifestyle writers have! Shall a word picture be painted? Of course, otherwise what would be the point in all of this?
The lifestyle of a writer is full of relaxing, dreaming, and the self satisfying flow of creativity. It's the ability to write anywhere and be inspired by everything. All the rules are made to be broken! A night's work can not only be enough time to write an entire book but also be a masterpiece that will have the dollar bills crashing into your bank account like waves on the beach. It's been shown on Television so much it has to be true. Fame, fans, all with a boss nowhere to be found. Not to forget the endless supply of drinks and snacks of their choosing. Be it coffee, wine, scotch, tea, ect... The snacks weren't even named! What could be wrong with such an easy, stress free, get rich quick job that everyone isn't doing it already‽ That image is a lie that the Rose Colored Glasses has shown you and both deserves to be thrown into the trash.
Saying to trash that picture is easier said than successful. How will the image be destroyed?
Was that the picture you had in your head?
Destroying Within Reason
Many have the view of an artist of some sort staring out the window. Daydreaming. Lollygagging. Then where writers are concerned, they begin to write in such a frenzie with a huge smile plastered on their face as if they have found the meaning of life and now have to dictate, I mean share, share it with everyone. They're in their prime that exudes beautifully written prose sewn together into a brilliantly crafted mosaic. Holy bologna.
It's more like staring at an empty page when nothing and/or everything is in your mind and waiting for the page to fill up. Then of course follows the dissatisfied feeling when the page is miraculously still blank even though there was never physically a word written. How dare it have the nerve to not magically be done. Writing a novel is full of scenes that can be pictured by the writer so vividly and even make them shed a tear, then turn them into a murderess mess. What even are words? It is the scene that tends to be the writers favorite, the one that seems so important, the one that they finally got right after coming back from that murderess rage that in the end gets scrapped. It doesn't belong, and the powers that be won't let you keep it. Writing a book is lying down on the floor not to relax but to take a breath so as to not have six months of work deleted into oblivion to be regretted later. It's hands cramping, neck hurting, back aching, and the legs from the hips down asleep. The worst on that last is yet to come. Writing a novel is being stressed over fake events and people plus a lot of times a numbing earth shattering sense of inadequacy. A walk in the park despite the contents, makes a novel not. Sure there are moments when it can help and be relaxing. It can change your mood, however like a page, it is never one sided.
Surely writers can write anywhere. Right? To an extent. The common places you think of can work. Parks, coffee shops, libraries, houses, any bench. Other places include but are not limited to: bars, restaurants, the gym, doctors offices, waiting rooms, grocery stores, parking garages, and the line to get into anywhere. The catch to this is writing happens anytime it can and anyplace whether you want it to or not. Inspiration comes when it wants and can be done as quickly as it started. Like a one night stand. You have to be prepared even if you're not expecting it just in case.
Indoor places require you purchase something if you're staying and a lot of times can be too loud as well as outdoors. Does writing and ideas interrupt the busy day, or the other way around. Both. All artist alike have to record when inspiration hits before it disappears forever and cues a temper tantrum worthy of the terrible twos.
Do you see what I did there?
Rules Are Made To Be Broken
Writing rules are meant to be broken. We see it all the time from writers and authors.There is one major catch. You have to know the rules. If you don't all you're doing is not effectively breaking the rules to serve a purpose other than laziness. Not everyone of them has to be known to a single writer, there are editors to help. It would make finding someone to read it all the way through easier.
Trope Of Time
In traditionally published novels the book length is sixty thousand to ninety thousand words. Say you are writing the book in this example that will break the world and make you millions. Your finished word count will be seventy five thousand words. Right smack in the middle. The average person types thirty eight to forty words per minute. For math purposes the number to be used is forty. That's two thousand four hundred words per hour with no breaks or pauses. That includes to think. In this situation you are so enamored that the book is done with no pauses for food or anything else. The total time it would take for the book to be done is thirty one hours and fifteen minutes. So not done in a night. Now to avoid editing time that is the real beast, this situation suggests that all normal editing markers are perfect and you need not overview before submitting to a literary agent. There is still a query letter and a synopsis to be done but c'est la vie. The process that comes next is extensive.
Rejected many times by literary agents, get one. Rejected many times by publishers, receive one. Fill out contract. That time would be hard to pinpoint how long it would take, the numbers are all over the board. Now is time to publish! Congratulations. The editor and you have made adjustments. Multiple artists have given your publisher trial covers, the specific materials are selected. This can take anywhere from three weeks to over a year assuming they don't forget about you or aren't attempting to keep your book off the market. Both plausible outcomes. Your book takes six months to be completed and published. This doesn't mean you'll make money right away. Possibly ever. Moby Dick sold around five hundred copies out of three thousand seven hundred and fifteen printed during Melville's life. This scenario also only works if your a panster meaning you are someone who doesn't plan your story first.
Too much math?
Unlimited Snacks And Drinks
This is a quick hard stop. Where are the snacks and drinks coming from and with what money? Done.
Writing Takes Work And Love Helps
Writing is by no means a horrible endeavor, but it's important to see the gross side of reality too. The dirty truth unromanticized is that at the end of the day writing a novel is a job that takes your money and may not ever pay you for the work you've done or the money you spent in favor of it. If however you still love writing despite all of that nonsense and more, then the pros are worth the cons. Yes there are pros.
For Your Entertainment,
© 2019 Nik Farr Havock