Thursday, August 31, 2006

Seven reasons to love being a writer....

1. You get to control the world. Well, the world of your story, that is, and the people who live in it. You are the goddess, the supreme puppet master. You even make the weather. How cool is that?

2. There's no right way to do it. There are suggestions, and lots of people will tell you about "rules" and "musts" and "shoulds," but for every such rule, there are plenty of successful writers who break it. You're freeeeee!

3. There's no expensive education required. In fact, I think the best way to learn to be a writer is to read, and all you need for that is a library card and access to a library. Yes, classes and workshops and conferences are good, but it's not like a writer has to be board-certified or anything.

4. There's no expensive equipment required. Well, okay, a computer is, I think, necessary in this day and age, and probably internet access, too, but when you think of what it costs to set yourself up in many another business? Not a lot of overhead. In fact, you can get started with a pad of paper and a pencil from the Dollar Store.

5. No meetings! No sitting at a table in a little room listening to somebody drone on about something while all you can think about is the work waiting for you back at your desk.

6. You can do it in your jammies. (I don't, but I could). That also means you don't have to go outside in inclement weather.

7. When you sell, it's all yours, baby. You did it -- not a group, not a committee, you. You had the idea. You wrote the book. You sold the book.

Seven reasons it can be lousy to be a writer:

1. Once your book goes to the publisher, good-bye control. Now it's going to edited, tweaked, summarized (on the back cover copy) and given a cover you may or may not love.

2. Because there's no right way to write, plenty of people will feel free to tell you your way is wrong.

3. Because there's no education/certification necessay, many, many people will tell you that they, too, would be writers if only they had the time.

4. Although there's no expensive equipment required, it does cost something, and one of the biggest costs is time and attention. Until you sell, it can be very difficult to justify that expense to others.

5. No meetings. Well, unless you want to have one with your characters. "Now, Hero Man, what's your problem? Seriously. I need to know." But you don't have the excuse of "I had a meeting" to explain why you didn't get something done. And no pastries provided, either.

6. You don't get to buy work clothes, like cunning little jackets and smart pant suits and really cool shoes. I wear jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts and running shoes.

7. When you sell and the book doesn't do well and you get a bad review? You can't blame that jerk in accounting or anybody else. It's all you, baby. Because even if your editors and publisher have input and do things to/with your book, the bottom line is, you came up with the story and the characters and the buck stops with you.


Tess said...

Margaret - great post :-) You pretty much covered things from both sides. Though we do get to wear those cunning little jackets and the cute pant suits at conferences!

And LOVE the new cover.

Margaret Moore said...

Thanks! And ah, yes, conference duds! I have vowed that the next time I go to a conference, I'm treating myself to some new outfits. *G*

Sinead M said...

Loved your post..

Especially the part about no meetings... and no driving in bad weather..

Love that.. not so much how every other person in the world thinks they should write a book.