Ten Reasons Why Being a Writer Rocks

listening to Rasputina’s,  “In old Yellowcake”

It seems spring fever has hit and many of my blogging pals are suffering the writing doldrums.

So, in my little attempt to cheer you guys and gals up, here’s my list on why writing, and being a writer, totally rocks.  

1.  Revisions- Oh, that perilous word!  But think of its merits.  No acting live on stage.  You can edit your work a thousand times until its spit and polished.  No one has to see it when it sucks.

2.  It’s a lifelong passion and pursuit in which you never stop growing and improving.  Like wine, you get better and better with age.

3.  The characters in your head- you’re never alone.

4.  Someone harassing you?  Just segue into a cheery dialogue about those characters in your head. 

5.  Eternal youth.  No need to be an overly serious adult.   You get to start up your computer  and play.  Creating characters and worlds  just like when you were a kid having fun with Barbies, lincoln logs, and toy soldiers.

6.  The sound of keys tapping.  The feeling of pens gliding over paper.   The inexplicable feeling that comes when you enter the flow. 

7.  Free therapy.  Unresolved issues?  Pour them out on paper.  There’s someone out there who will read your words and realize they’re not alone.  And hey, while we’re on therapy…there’s revenge!   Hated former boss?  School tormenter?  Turn them into a character in your novel and bump them off.   There, don’t you feel better?

8.   You’re the screenwriter and directer all in one.  You decide which characters fall in love, who lives, who dies, happy ending, sad ending, in between ending, whodunnit…

You decide which scenes/characters/ objects warrant close-ups.  And which ones need long shots.  When to zoom the camera in and out.   You design the sets and dress the actors.

 Okay, it might take a bunch of revisions until your characters and you agree on all this.  But ultimately, you wear the hat.

9.  The art and craft of writing.   The feeling of an idea stirring within you.  That irresistable urge to bring it forth onto paper.   The pure beauty of language.  Stringing words together like pearls on a necklace.   Typing away until you reach those delicious words,  “The End”.   And then, sculpting your work over and over again.  Getting rid of everything unnecessary until only the bones, heart, and soul of your story remain.

10.  The wondrous ability to bring joy to others.  It doesn’t matter if you have a million fans, a thousand fans, or just a few.  It doesn’t matter if the only person who loves your work is a family member or a friend.  Just bringing  enjoyment to one other human being in this screwy caravan of a world is a hell of a lot.

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Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm  Comments (44)  
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  1. I initially started writing because I wanted to be a good storyteller. Just that. I remember a scene in the movie “Out of Africa” where Meryl Streep as Isak Dinesen is sitting around at the dinner table, and just launches into a story, seemingly off the top of her head. I wanted to write before I saw that, but that to me was the epitome of what being a writer was all about.

  2. Hey DD,

    That’s where the fun is for me, too. The storytelling. The playing. And that’s what I always try to hold on to.

  3. I saw six and nine are right up my alley when it comes to the joy of writing. Thanks for the inspiring words Tasha.

  4. WoW! fantastic post Thank you! i was smiling wide while reading this b/c you are so right! I do love the thrill and the play with words and characters…and if I don’t love it why bother, eh?

  5. #5 is definitely high on my list of favs

  6. These are great. I totally agree! And don’t forget: You get to wear your bunny slippers while “working” on your writing. 🙂

    I would like to use your “revisions” quote for my book, if that’s okay.

  7. Hey Ralfast!

    Morning to you.

    #6. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes the physical act of writing. (whether it be typing or longhand). It relaxes me and gets out stress in the same way that physical exercise or meditation does for me.

  8. Hi JanFlora,

    Thanks so much! I was really hoping the post would cause some smiles. During the nutty adventures of trying to get published, I think it is so important to remember why one started writing in the first place.

  9. Hi Martha,

    Nice to meet you. 🙂

    I like #5 so much, too. I remember my fifth grade teacher telling my English class that so many kids when they become adults lose their ability to play, to imagine. And what a shame that was.

    I agree. Not only with writing, but in everyday life. Life can be friggin hard and totally unfair at times. I think holding onto to a little bit of the kid in you helps one deal with those stresses of life.

  10. Hiya Dawn,

    Thanks so much! Oh, I’d be honored if you wanted to use my quote for your book. That’s so cool! 🙂

    Heh, you’re right. I did forget our comfy wardrobe. I love my pajamas! Regarding bunny slippers: this winter I actually went out looking to buy some. Would you believe I couldn’t find any here?

  11. What a great post! You made me feel tons better with this! It’s always a good thing to be reminded about the pleasures of writing. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for this! I especially like #5 and #8 appeals to the control freak within 🙂

  13. Hey Jenna,

    Thanks for stopping over here. And I’m really glad the post cheered you up. With all our efforts to get published, I think it’s always important to remember what made us start writing in the first place. 🙂

  14. Hey Dara!

    I’m not a control freak myself (I’m pretty much a type B) but I know what you mean regarding #8. I have to accept the fact that once a work is done it may or may not get published. And when it does- not everyone is going to like it. But the writing itself, is all up to me. And that’s a really great, powerful feeling. 🙂

  15. love the positives! March is a depressing month up here in ME.

    #5 is definitely at the top of my list 🙂

    plus – items needed for job:
    1) fuzzy pjs
    2) caffeine
    3) computer/notebook
    4) imaginary friends

  16. Hiya Amy,

    Yeah! I have all the necessary items. I can get to work right now.

    We writers *do* have the most comfy job attire. 🙂

  17. Hooray for imaginary friends! 😀

  18. What an awesome post, Tasha! It did make me smile. : )

    I was just thinking the other day about the “writer’s uniform” — mine being t-shirts and sweats with chocolate in hand.

    #6 is what I love most about writing — the flow state. I have an uncanny ability to enter into it every time I write. It’s so complete that my husband could stand across from me and call out my name and I wouldn’t even hear him.

    It’s addictive, that’s for sure, but at least it’s a harmless addiction. : )

    It’s meditative for me, too.

    Em

  19. Ralfast,

    Regarding imaginary friends…just because others can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not real. 🙂

  20. Hiya Em!

    Thanks! 🙂

    Heh. I know exactly what you mean. That’s why I write in my apt. I do like the thought of taking my netbook and sitting in a nice coffee shop, but I fear “waking up” to discover my jacket and purse gone.

  21. Hey, Scarlett. Thanks for putting this up – I’ve had a few weeks when I’ve had very little – or no – time for writing, and I appreciate the reminders about why I try so hard to make time for it.

  22. Hi Unfocused Me,

    You’re welcome! 🙂

    But don’t be too hard on yourself. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is for people who work full time and have children to find the time for their writing. And, to still sleep! Must be a very delicate juggling act.

  23. I empathize with #3 the most–although there’s a fine line between being with company and going completely mad from all those voices 🙂

  24. Hey Nancy,

    I know what you mean. Sometimes it feels like they’re fighting over whose story gets told. Like bratty little children trying to get attention by misbehaving. grrr!

  25. number three is my fav. Writing: when being schizophrenic is a good thing.

  26. Oh my God! I can relate to every last one of those.. Long before I started thinking of myself as a writer I was spinning stories out of every voice, imaginary or real, in my head or outside. Great post!

    I am so completely new to writing in any kind of methodical, structured way though that it is good to be reminded that writing is first and foremost a passion, recreation, not a job. Thank you.

    http://venusreinvented.blogspot.com

  27. Hi Venus!

    Very nice to meet you- and very glad you liked the post. 🙂

    Since I became very determined to become a published novelist, I actually am approaching writing like a job. Whereby, I mean learning the business, learning to be disciplined with my writing schedule, etc…

    But I want my passion, my love for writing to be the true force that drives me. Because if I ever lose that love, what would be the point? It’s the love of writing that keeps me going, keeps me strong. 🙂

  28. Thanks for the reminder of all that is important. I’m trying to get back to that pure love of writing. My first novel took me ten years to write, and I wasn’t even really thinking of publication, in fact the idea of anybody reading it scared the bejeebers out of me. I just loved being with the story and the characters. I miss that. Perhaps its possible to achieve the lost innocence and write for pleasure while still keeping an eye on publication? Hope stirs.

  29. That was a wonderfully positive post. 🙂 Makes me want to do a list of what’s great about writing, too.

    I think my way of dealing with suffering and injustice in the world is to write a story where people overcome those, vicarious though that victory might be. It’s a sense of “here is a place where things do eventually work out the way they should, even though it might appear even worse than the real world at first”.

  30. Hi Uppington,

    “Perhaps its possible to achieve the lost innocence and write for pleasure while still keeping an eye on publication?”

    – That’s exactly the balance I seek. I want to know enough about the biz so I know its realities. And of course, the basics such as writing a proper query letter, etc. But I find if I spend *too much* time reading professional blogs, I start stressing and that affects my love of writing.

  31. Hi Marian,

    I’d love to read your own list on this topic! 🙂

  32. Hey, Scarlett, I gave you an award. I was going to say it’s shiny, but it isn’t really.

  33. You rock Gypsy! Haven’t heard from you lately, but I’ll shoot you an e-mail later tonight.
    Steven

  34. Hey Steven!

    Thanks! 🙂

    Any news on that publishing house?

  35. Nothing there… but hey, the Little Peanut is doing fine- a little less than eight weeks til she’s due. I’ve been busy getting the apartment ready for the arrival.
    http://smsarber.blogspot.com/

  36. Hiya Steven,

    heh…got you confused with another Steven. That’s why I asked about the publishing house. But I did just email you back. The correct Steven this time. 🙂

  37. Happens. I’ll make it easier, put my full name… though since I’m in the Witness Protection Program it might be the vehicle of my demise 😉

  38. I love number 3, you paint that truth is a positive light where some people may imply I’m a bit ‘crazy’ to have all these voices inside my head demanding attention!
    I loved all of these and related on every level.
    Rebecca

  39. Hi Rebecca,

    Nice to meet you! 🙂

    I hear you regarding #3. It’s funny that society deems people like us to be weird, eccentric, or even crazy. Yet, it’s the people who bottle everything up, who try to act 100% “sane”, and follow all the rules and pressures of society- who are the ones who end up snapping.

    So, in many ways, we’re much more mentally stable!

  40. Because we get to live out our fantasies. The out-of-this-world thoughts we may have are given an outlet. Writing is nothing but therapy, and those of us who have the gift get to share it with the rest of the world.
    This was a great post you came up with; did you expect it to have such a following when you posted it?

  41. Hi Steven,

    Thank you! I’m honestly, happily surprised that anyone ever reads my little blog. There’s so many great writers out there. So the fact that anyone takes a few moments to read mine makes me quite cheery. 🙂

  42. Side note- I’m getting ready to start fresh with your suggestions, wish me luck. But maybe that’s why the rerite has gone so slow… I needed to change tack for it, right now I’ve been improving the writing, but not the story. So with a fresh perspective maybe things will go smoother.

  43. 9. The art and craft of writing. The feeling of an idea stirring within you. That irresistable urge to bring it forth onto paper.
    —-

    This one really touched me. You have ideas, you have characters. You see them interacting, the scene unfolds in your mind. You *have* to get that story onto paper, you have to craft it until what you’ve written matches the vision you have in your mind.

    Nice blog, btw. I shall be reading. 🙂

  44. Hi jglane,

    Nice to meet you!

    And thank you very much. 🙂

    Oh yes, the need to get those ideas on paper. No wonder most of us writers keep such crazy hours. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has leapt out of bed with the, “OMG! I must write this down *now*!”


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