Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nerves of Steel

My father thinks writing is easy.  In some ways he's right (don't tell him I said that)--I don't have to haul garbage in the heat of the summer, or dig ditches, or spread asphalt.  All of those are much more physically demanding jobs than writing, and I don't hesitate to admit that I couldn't do them.  Simply couldn't.  But the thing is...  lots of people who do those jobs couldn't write for a living.  It takes a special kind of person to be able to dedicate their life to something that is only real inside their head.

If we're good at what we do we can make it real in other peoples' heads, too, but that's a big "if." Every day that we invest ourselves in writing and rewriting, we're gambling that someone, somewhere, is going to be interested in what we have to say. And then, at the end of the day, we have to turn off the concern that we didn't make enough contacts, or we didn't sell enough copies and sit back down at that empty screen and write another story, because damn it, that's what a writer does. It takes nerves of steel to face down that blank screen, listen to the voices in your head, and tell the story, and sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't be better off getting a copy of the Daily News and looking for a job selling spatulas.*

Then the Universe smacks me upside the head and says stop your whining and write.

Today a very nice woman named Joan Reeves took time out of her busy schedule to help the rest of us who are trying to get our stories out in front of everyone we can, in the hopes that someone will love our characters as much as we do.  She is a writer and she runs the fabulous SlingWords (you should definitely go check it out) and she posted a guide to publishing a story at one of the new ebook vendors, All Romance (also a great place to check out) that even the most technologically challenged of us could follow.  She didn't have to, but she saw a need and stepped up to help.  This is a person who understands how hard it is to be a writer, and who still thinks it's worth doing.

So, today I'm knocking the rust off my nerves of steel and saying hello again to the voices in my head.

I have to admit--it's nice to be back.

*Points if you get the reference.  Hudson Hawk may have won Razzies, but it's still a favorite. :)