A wise man once said, “writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.”
In reality, it’s more like grabbing a cake out of the oven with your bare hands.
The object you want is within grasp, yet the very thing making it so desirable is also causing tremendous pain.
From the long hours spent by myself to the constant criticism spinning throughout my mind during the whole process, creating my first book “The Waiting Room” was daunting to say the least.
Yet, if you manage to make it through, the rewards of writing can last for many lifetimes.
First you get the idea. My suggestion is to take the strangest thing that stumbles into your head and run with it, no matter how weird it may be.
Even if you don’t know what the heck is going to happen and how it’s happening, fear not, it’ll come in time.
Just focus on figuring out the main character and what the story’s supposed to tell about them (kinda like my cover art tells that I don’t have the money to get a cover artist).
Then you write the story. Believe it or not, beginning the story is the easiest part in the writing process, which is why most people only get as far as the first page.
The space after, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
Be prepared to either get stuck between scenes or, in my case, have no clue where to go next.
This is the rough patch, the one in which the tiny voice of doubt that’s been around since your first sentence gets entrusted with a megaphone.
You begin to meet your inner demons, yet, at the same time, learn more about yourself than you’ve ever known before.
The best way to make it through with the least amount of scathing is by knowing you’re ending in advance, thus giving your mental compass a due north toward the changes that need to occur.
Well, that and continuing to write, even when you don’t want to.
Then you revise to get your second draft. And your third, fourth, fifth and so on. A writer’s job is never complete, so being lazy and handing in your work straight off the printer will likely not turn out the way you’d like.
It’s more likely that the bulk of your time will be spent in the revision stage, so if it takes you until the deadline or even until they must pry the paper from your cold, dead hands, keep improving until you’re absolutely done.
And then you get the money — maybe. It really depends on getting word of mouth and good reviews, which can be surprisingly difficult if you don’t have a lot of people interested in you or enough money to create interest.
Despite the success of authors like J.K. Rowling, writing is a long-term process with the odds of becoming rich overnight around the same as hitting it big in your local lottery.
Even with all the attention from social media and making the book free during its first weekend (which sparked a lot of downloads), only caused two people to pay for “The Waiting Room” since its release. One was my dad and the other was an unknown person in the U.K.
That’s why most don’t do it for money. If you want to strike it rich, head to Wall Street. Writing isn’t about the cash flow, but getting the flow of words trapped in your head onto paper and out to the world. It’s the earliest form of communication after talking, yet continues to be one of the most popular.
So if you got something on your mind and feel a need to tell it to the world, get out your laptop and start typing.
I’ll keep the oven hot.
Joseph Stallcop can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org