Most people think that a writer’s life is easy. That story ideas just pop into our minds, that characters constantly whisper their stories in our ears and that plot points just slip into our minds and all that we writers do is jot down these conversations and voila we have a story to submit.
These people have never heard of making notes on settings, created character traits, written down the plot points or created a vile villain. Nor have these people worked on voice and story arc.
One thing that always amazes me is that people think we writers can write anytime. I will explain. An aunt of mine invited my mom to spend the day with her, she asked me to join them. I excused myself saying I had to write. “Oh, you can write any time,” she said. These people are under the misguided impression that writing does not need time or effort.
I wanted to tell her how did she expect me to write after spending a day in her company, gathering gossip about the entire town. If I had accepted her invitation, my entire day would have gone down the drain. It’s not that I am averse to spending the day out (I go out a lot with my friends and family) but it’s only for a few hours, a quick lunch and a movie or a long lunch. And I always make it a point to write before I leave so that I have done some word count for the day.
A friend had heard that a writer took four years to write her 396 page novel. “So long,” my friend said. “Did she write one paragraph a day?!” Yes, it takes some writers such a long time. Most people forget the fact that the book went on to win the Booker Prize.
And another thing people don’t understand is that it takes us writers such a long time to get our books published. They think all that we writers do is write a story and submit. And publishers and agents all over the world are just waiting for our manuscripts. And that next morning we are having breakfast waving our six figure cheque in air and the week after that we are sitting in our bean bags reading our published books.
P.S. My next post will be the IWSG post on Wednesday, 4th February. I need this time to meet a deadline for one of my books. Till then Happy Writing.