Why writing is harder than Sex

If you are writing a novel, expect to be turned down at least twenty times over just like if you were looking for a partner. If your first draft is filthy and you use it with your query letter it’s like showing up to a date and talking while eating. You may garner some attention, and you may actually succeed but never settle. In the famous words of Hemingway “ The first draft of everything is shit.” Do not feel ashamed on your first rejection letter. Do not quit.

Yes, you can use your first draft with a query letter but take what they reject you on and work your story into a second, third, and fourth draft. I can say Hemingway’s statement also relates to sex as well. Your first go at it with someone else is like being blindfolded and told where to go. It’s going to be shitty, and it’s going to be a learning experience. It’s up to the two of you if you want take that learning experience and make it work.

Writing is not a job where we have a set amount of hours to work on it. We have a yearning to create a new world, or modify the one we are in a bit but to do this we need to have a strong will to put our words on a blank page. I like to call us magicians. We stare at nothing to create an amazing work of art that will maybe someday make us proud.

Sex is where we try so hard to create another human being out of nothing, and some succeed while others fail. We can’t chase sex because let’s be real if it was that easy too many people would be having children. So, in Jack London’s words “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” When you stare at a blank page long enough there is a bit of hope we have that words will start spilling out like rain.

Do not expect someone to know what you need to do for your novel, or be able to tell you how to write your novel. It takes a lot of concentration to focus on blank pages for days. I like to say expect to be called crazy, insane, and that it’s not a real job. Writing is a real job. It’s harder than most jobs out there because we are continuously competing with each other like we’ve been running track all day long.

We are masters of the word crazy when we form villains that kill people, or kill off main characters. The real failure here is that you would cave in to your readers for the ending of a story. If your story naturally ends the way it does changing it will only cause friction within yourself. “ There are three rules to writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham.

I would like to say writing is an ability that should come naturally to every writer but that is untrue. Writing is not an ability that happens naturally. We strive to create a flood of words on a page with little expectation that anyone will read them. It goes the same with a relationship. We can toss all of our being out into society for another person to like us but it remains that we may not get anywhere at all with that. By being a writer we are taking a risk. We are hoping into a world of unknowns, and uncertainties to create worlds for other people to enjoy. There is power in words. Do not ever forget that.

What I mean about power in words is that stories play a large part of our daily lives. Stories are the power that feeds our imagination. A story is a conveying of events in words using images, metaphors, and other elements. It is a narrative that is shared by cultures as a means of making entertainment, education,moral values, and cultures in the world. A writer must create an empowering story that shows what their imagination feeds on. We as writers need to understand the power a story holds over us as well when we write a novel.

It is like the same power sex holds over a pair of two people who may or may not spend the rest of their lives together. One of the greatest examples of how powerful a story can be is in the epics of the Greeks, the bible, and other religious texts. I say this because these stories have caused wars, sought out righteousness, formed cultures, created followers, and empowered minds. If the stories of religion don’t express how powerful words can be to the mind then we can look to more modern aspects of life.

In my eyes, Sex is to get involved with which includes a lot of risk with it as well. I certainly am not ready for a child yet. However, the same can be said with writing. Our novel is like a child. When we complete it we are scared to show the world the piece of magic our imagination has created. But again, do not take everyone’s writing advice the same. No two people write the same. Just like no two people feel the same at every given moment. With this said, write till your heart’s content. Write because you can.



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Jessica Cote

Jessica Cote

I am just a girl among the many fish in the sea. A writer among the many dreamers, and a socialist among others.