I hear it all the time: “Oh I would write a book, if I didn’t have a real job taking up my time,” and “Writer’s block doesn’t exist. All you’re doing is putting words on page. It can’t be that hard. I don’t know why you’re moaning.” My favourite: “I don’t know why books are so expensive. Writing is the easiest job in the world.” Uh-huh. Okay. If you say so.
The truth is that yeah, writing is easy. Most people can put pen to paper and create a coherent sentence. The trick is stringing 60,000+ words together that not only make sense, but draw people in and keep their attention. Not only that, but coming up with the storyline in the first place – that is where writer’s block comes in. I can have an idea (I usually have three or four), but figuring out where to start the story, whose POV to write it from etc. can take some time!
It’s not just writing that comes under fire though. Hubby is a photographer, and he hears it just as much as me: “Oh I have a digital camera. I’d love to have the time to make it a career,” and “All you do is point and shoot, it can’t be that tricky.” PAH! Photography, like writing, takes a lot more work than people realise. Yeah, he can point the camera and snap away, but he’s got to consider the lighting, positioning, shadows, and a lot of stuff I know nothing about. And then there’s the editing – what you see / read, is not the first draft!!
I can use the internet, but I couldn’t create a webpage from scratch!
I’ve got 2 new books and re-release coming out in the summer. That’s 2 books that I’ve written over the past year. Here’s a few things I think would have been easier:
- Scaling Mount Everest – Hell, it’s just a large hill isn’t it?
- Flying a jumbo jet – I can drive a car, it can’t be that difficult. Mechanics is mechanics after all.
- Performing brain surgery – Break out the scalpel and dig out the bit you don’t need, yeah?
- Taming a wild lion – If you’ve met my cat, Nibbler, you’ll know that this would be a walk in park for me!
- Writing a thesis on quantum physics – I can put pen to paper and make words into a sentence, I have access to the internet, what else do you need?
That book you have by your bed? Took a lot longer to write than it will take for you to read it. Just like that meal you ate last night took a lot longer to cook than it did to shovel it into your mouth.
If you think writing a novel is easy, I’m glad – because it means I did a good job. Please, leave a review, and damn well pay for the next book you read.