Saturday, June 25, 2011
Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. ~ Lawrence Kasdan
Really think about that quote. As writers we are spending more time on writing than probably any single other part of our lives. Those of us unfortunate enough to have to work 40 hours a week (or more) at a day job might find a close tie in time, but otherwise, most likely no other part of your life takes up so much time.
And for what?
The other day I heard an editor, when asked if she ever wanted to write, say, “OMG- no.” This is someone who loves what she does, loves being a part of the writing world, but doesn’t want to be at our end of it.
Part of me understands. We spend tons of time on our “babies” with less than optimistic odds that they will end up on a bookshelf somewhere. We give up parties, bbq’s, dinners, spending time with friends, family events, and vacations- all so we can write. So that we can have homework for the rest of our lives. Homework for which we may never get a passing grade.
And it’s never going to end for most of us. The unpublished will keep working on the next book, the next project of our heart and soul that screams to be put to page. Growing stronger and better with each book. All the while trying to find a way to get our worlds out to the public. The published will keep racking their minds for new ways to keep their fans and readers happy. Hopefully growing better with each book also.
The part of me that reads those above two paragraphs completely understands that editor’s quick and definite reply.
But the other part, the part that takes joy in creating new characters, jots down plot twists on napkins in restaurants, steals cool names from her day job (modified of course ;)). That part can’t understand. How could someone not want to write? How could anyone who understands the power of the written world not want to play god in it? To have your own creations suddenly take on lives of their own- going places you never expected. To re-read something you wrote a few months (or longer) ago and think that it’s really pretty good.
I guess that part of me will never understand why everyone doesn’t want to do this. I guess I’m just a homework junkie. (Or all writers are really stark raving mad- but that’s for another post completely. ;))