Imagine that I were to ask you to do something. Now with this thing I ask you to do, I want you to spend several hours a day, several days a week, several weeks each month and even several months a year doing it. I will also tell you that you can’t quit your day job, nor can you neglect your family. You’ll have to find time within the day and sometimes late at night or early in the morning to do this. Once you are finished, there’s a very good chance that no one, or very few people, will see what you’ve done in all that time. When you come back and ask me what you should do next, let’s say that I gave you this answer: “I want you to do it all over again.”
This is what we as writers feel just about every day.
Not to compare this job to any other, but as a writer, especially one who is not quite established, the journey could be very exciting. However, it can also be very mentally exhausting. We are told to “keep grinding” or to press on. Forget Writer’s Block…there’s no such thing!
I have been interested in writing since I was 12. I’ve written poetry for many years, but I began writing books and screenplays a few years ago. As much as I love to write (and I love it very much), it can be a very lonely task sometimes.
Along with what I’ve stated above, writing just isn’t exciting to many people. I love my friends and family who show interest just for my sake, but I can tell when they’re really trying. I can’t blame those who are not interested. Putting that kind of time into something just isn’t for everyone.
As with a lot of things, people don’t often care much about the process. They just want to see the end results. As I’m writing this, I think about even the most successful authors and how often people talk about being interested in their “writing process.” I don’t hear it very much. They can love and have read every book that author has written. They will talk more of what the book is about than wondering what the author went through as they wrote it. Some people are interested, but just not that many.
I’ve noticed that this especially applies to what I’m doing now. As an aspiring screenwriter, I began watching movies and television shows a little differently than before. After having read several scripts in each area, I have a different appreciation and respect for the process from the writer’s perspective. I’m a little more constructive than to just say a movie or show is “good” or “bad.” I think more about what happens as far as the writer(s) are concerned and how the scripts would look. It’s really a much different world for me now. It’s excited to look at shows and movies that way.
However, just as with books, when people who aren’t interested in writing think about even their favorite shows or movies, I can’t imagine that most would be wildly interested in the writers or what they’ve done throughout the process. Writers may not necessarily be “ignored” per se, but they’re not in forefront of very much. How often when watching a show or movie, do you hang around at the end to catch who the writers are?
Every writer has their goals. The love of writing is enough to drive us to want begin or even to continue the process, but many of us struggle along the way. Along with what I’ve mentioned above, the feeling that our work may be for nothing makes it very tough to push through sometimes. Especially when it comes time to think about how to advertise our work. Adding in the uncertainty of that just piles even more on our plate.
One thing I’ve always said to myself is that if a writer can keep all this in mind and still have the energy to push on, then they will find success. It may come sooner rather than later for some, but as for me, again, I LOVE to write. Just the writing itself is fun for me. My confidence comes from the fact that I am well-aware of all the struggles we experiences and my love for writing still burns very strong. I’m enjoying the journey.
However, I can certainly feel the pain of my fellow writers. I try to encourage myself in many ways to keep myself going. One way I do this is to tell myself that as much as it seems to be the case, there is no wasted time. Especially as an aspiring screenwriter, there is always something more I can learn or do better than the last time. Always room for improvement. I’m sure this in the mindset for many authors and I feel it truly has to be, especially when it comes to achieving success. As difficult as this is, if we approach from the standpoint that we are as good as we’ll ever get or that improvement is not necessary, success will never happen. We have to keep our minds open.
Probably the toughest part of the process is to “keep writing” when all else fails. However, it’s something very necessary. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to sign off from here and to “keep writing” myself.
Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for stopping by.