The other day I read a great blog by Angela Scott (no relation to Corona!) called Whimsy Writing. In her blog she discusses how crazy you have to be to become a writer. I agree heartily with the points she made.

First of all, writers don’t make much money. Such dreams are sheer fantasy to all but a tiny handful of writers. And most writers are complete unknowns. So much for fame and fortune!

And for all the non-rewards we receive we must suffer the slings and arrows of disgruntled readers, unappreciative editors, and unimpressed reviewers. All writers ( without exception! ) will experience some form of rejection: from publishers, from indifferent readers, and from the constant struggle to promote our own books.

Why, Angela asks, why would any sane person subject themselves to this abuse?

The consensus, according to the comments on her excellent blog, seems to be that writers write because we must! We have no choice in the matter. It’s either write or be driven insane by the voices in our heads. Several comments referred to characters as “the little people in our heads”.

Well, my “people” aren’t little, and I don’t think they’re entirely in my head, but I understand completely what other writers mean by this. My characters seem to lurk just over my shoulder, frequently telling me in no uncertain terms what they want to say and do next. From time to time, when I err, I seem to hear their voices: “No, no, no! That’s not me! I would never say/do that!”

Writers of fiction, especially, must live in a reality that isn’t real. We must create worlds that have never been, invent characters who have never lived, yet feel “real”. We must envision scenarios that most likely will never happen. Are we truly crazy?

Maybe so, but on the up-side, writing is fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding in ways other than monetary. I regard writing as a calling that connot be ignored, an inner flame that cannot be quenched. But unless you are absolutely driven to write and to write your best possible work, you should probably stay safely sane and stick to the next best thing: reading!

All for now,

MRTighe

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