The Writer’s Plight
To me, the most difficult thing about being a writer is trying to convince a primarily ignorant society, to read for fun in their free time.
It’s trying to compete with reality TV, social media, video games, porn, and the internet as a whole — with little more than words and a story worth telling and reading. It’s convincing your average person what you wrote will be an adequate use of the three minutes of their time it’ll take to read it — and then actually keeping that promise.
From pretty much the very beginning of when I actually started to write, or at least take it seriously — with it came an isolation you only know if you’ve experienced it.
Maybe not every writer feels it, but there’s no denying I do. It’s quiet and subtle, but no doubt there. You feel it when you walk into a room full of people you once believed actually wanted the best for you, but eventually realized only wanted what they thought was best for you.
It’s putting it all out there for the world to read about if they should choose to — how you feel, what you think about in private and all you’ve been through — and not being quite sure who has or not.
This writer’s plight is not caring who reads what he writes — but his success in the field depending on them doing so.
It’s deep down, actually caring very much who reads what you write — but preferring it to be large groups of people you’ll never meet rather than those you know IRL, simply because it’s easier.
Few things are as awkward about talking about anything you’ve written, created, or made after you’ve done so. Yet, you have to. It is unavoidable and at the end of the day, should not feel harder than the writing itself.
The writer’s plight is not the writing itself — but instead the reader. The reader who misinterprets what they write or takes it out of context. The one who makes it about them, when really it’s about people in general. The reader who doesn’t read until the end but comments anyway, tearing down what you wrote, mainly because it’s far easier than doing something similar or putting themselves and their work out there, for people like them to comment on.
The writer’s plight is how fraudulent and pretentious they feel in calling themselves a writer and in trying to truly self actualize as one.
It is in writing the thing you’re most proud of, and not having the first clue as to how to market or promote it. It’s in not even wanting to, but having to.
In not knowing how to accept praise nor take constructive criticism constructively. It’s in the thought of spending the next 35 years working construction if this shit doesn’t work. In everyone being able to say “See, I told you so” instead of selling more copies of something than you could have ever imagined in your wildest of dreams — and in knowing both are completely within the realm of possibility. That in the end, it’ll likely either be one or the other and which one it is, mainly depends on you.
But the plight is also in there being nobody who is going to force you to sit down and do the work. Nobody, other than you of course. It’s in working for yourself, on the days you are both a shitty boss and shitty employee. It’s in not being able to fire yourself or scream at everyone who misunderstands what you were even trying to say in the first place.
The writer’s plight is in waking up every morning and having to write, especially on the days they don’t want to. It is the days we feel like writing but can’t seem to bring ourselves to. In sitting down and having absolutely nothing of value to say. It’s in knowing you are always working on your next thing and looking for the next angle or idea. In not wanting to write but knowing you have to — and in knowing you wouldn’t be able not to write even if you didn’t want to, all at the very same time.