Warning: This post is a rant. If you don’t like rants, click off. That’s what I said. Click. Off. Don’t write and say, ‘I hate rants, Jen, and now I’m offended.’ Just go find some knitting tips and leave me to vent.
Okay. I rant. But I don’t tell lies. No. I. Don’t.
So occasionally I worry. I’ve got a bright n breezy personality. It can be deceptive. What if people think I’ve got all my ducks lined up?
Maybe they think I’m livin’ the dream.
That I roll out of bed every morning, busting to get on with my AMAZING life as a famous children’s author (of the highest possible calibre).
But you know what? Sometimes I hate writing.
And I hate the writing life even more.
Sure I have a passion for kid lit and for books in general.
But the flame of passion is fickle. It flares. It coughs. It sputters.
It disappears in a trail of rancid smoke.
Anyone who claims they’re running on passion is either deluded or has white powder up their schnozz.
Humans aren’t wired for constant passion. It’s unsustainable. Too much passion runs us ragged. Leaves us looking like this:
Which brings me to writing.
Why do I hate it?
Here’s a list:
It’s a technical nightmare.
Further to which:
So slow it makes me want to bite the ankles of strangers.
Further to which:
There’s no pay packet at the end of the week.
Or the end of the month.
In fact, there are only two pay packets per YEAR.
And that’s if you’re lucky.
Even when you do get lucky, your pay packet might not reflect J K’s. In fact, the pay packet of an ordinary writer is the tiniest of all personnel involved, (including the tea lady’s).
You think I’m joking? I refer you back to Keith.
By the time all the ‘affiliates’ are paid, the writer is left with a bag of crisps. And maybe a badge for effort.
Most writers are held hostage under the publishing house. In the boiler room.
Alone in the shadows, writers eat scraps and bicker among themselves. Their job is to oil the machines and crank out the heat, while upstairs everyone else is partying.
Well, that’s how it feels.
But then something good happens.
It can be the tiniest thing.
A whisper of inspiration. An image. A dream. A twinkle in another writer’s eye. You catch it. You know that twinkle. You’ve seen it before—in the mirror.
That’s story magick. That’s gimme, gimme, gimme.
How much ya got?
It’s game on.
You’re ready to jump back in. You’ve reconnected with your passion and you’re glowing like a friggin’ Christmas fairy.
For a while.
Until you falter.
Until you fizzle and flop and your wings drop off.
Until, once again, you throw your wand at the wall and shout, ‘That’s it! I quit. I bloody hate writing!’
And so it goes.