Thursday, May 11, 2006

Life Ain’t Fair and Writers Gotta Write

By C. L. Beck

My last blog had a statement that I’d like to follow up on: Life ain’t fair and Writers gotta write.

If life were fair, things would be different. All important phone calls would happen as we finish writing for the day, not as we start. We’d never have typos; our first draft would be perfect. There’d be no delete key on our keyboard.

Most of all, our mothers would be our biggest fans. They’d announce to the world how talented we are instead of making subtle comments like, “Why do you waste your time writing, when you could earn a decent living playing the Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Man? Why can’t you be like your brother, Bill, who plays the Pillsbury Dough Boy? He’s successful!”

(Okay, I’ll admit it—my mom never really made that comment. She’s never had the chance because I’ve never had the nerve to tell her that I write.)

Writers are an optimistic bunch. Either that or we’re brain dead, because no matter how unfair life is, no matter how many rejections we get, we still keep doing the same thing. Over and over again, we write. We’re driven to put words down on paper, no matter whether someone will ever buy them or not. We dream of the six figure contract, but until it comes we often write for free. Yes, you heard that correctly. A writer’s gotta write, and even if no one pays us, we just keep clicking that ol’ keyboard anyway.

Non-writers may think that makes us a candidate for psychotherapy and surely Freud would have had something interesting to say about it. Thank goodness he’s dead. No doubt it was his mother’s words that killed him. “Sigmund, why are you wasting your time analyzing minds, when you could be earning a decent living as a barber? Look at your brother, Otto, who designs bombs. He’s successful!”


D said...

...and birds gotta sing, and the babbling brook's gotta tell its story, as well.

And, in a perfect world, birds gotta eat worms.

I wonder how many aspiring writers write for the love of writing or for the six figures. How many write for fame?

I agree, I think most write for the love of writing. That makes me wonder how many six figure writer still love to write.


Darvell Hunt said...

I have heard it said that a lot of the writers out there are writing for the hope of fame and fortune, but don't really want to bother with learning to write; they just want to be published.

Ironically, it's likely that those who have real passion for their writing will actually be the ones who get what these other writers are seeking.

It's kind of like the spell Dumbledor cast on the sorcerer’s stone so only those who did not seek the stone could obtain it.

I'm still trying to figure out which group of writers that I'm in...


Triple Nickel said...

Great blog! I think I'll now go and learn how to be a barber!!

C. L. Beck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
C. L. Beck said...

Hi D,
Thanks for visiting. That's a good point you made at the end of your comment.

I've heard authors state it's not nearly as much fun when books have to be cranked out on a regular basis.

It's like winning the lottery, though . . . I'd love the chance to prove a six figure contract wouldn't spoil me!:-)

C. L. Beck said...

Hi Darvell,

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure there are some writers who write for the fame alone, but I know you write out of love for your craft.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and the six figure contract that I'm certain will not spoil you.

C. L. Beck said...

Hi Triple Nickle,
Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Becoming a barber could be an interesting profession. For easy working conditions you could always specialize in bald men.