The Writing Life: Why Now?

While I’ve always wanted to be a writer, for far too much of my life I wanted to write a first draft, be praised for my creativity, and have that draft magically transformed into a bestseller by some random alchemy that had nothing to do with me working on it myself. I wanted all the acclaim, none of the effort. It was an odd, and self-indulgent, fancy.

So this writing life is happening for me now because, at last, I realized life does not go on forever, and you don’t always have the next year, or the next five. And procrastinating in the hope that someone would come along and do all the work for me was decidedly unsuccessful as a plan.

The boring, unsexy truth that I read many times (but for so long chose to ignore) is that to be a writer, you have to do the work. The scattered and sometimes sublime first draft has to be revisited, refashioned, nailed down and made fit for public consumption. Or you can release the rough draft that some people might decide has potential, but most will just run away from with a click.

I am here because I finally realized I had to do the work, and I finally got around to doing it. No more, no less. And part of that hard work was hiring an editor, which does not mean that he or she does the work for you – it means you agree to do a lot of work with them. (Or you can do very little, and get very little in return for your money.)

So there it is, I’m doing this now because I want to, I feel driven to, and because I accepted that I needed to do the necessary hard work and then took it on. That work has already paid off, because I now know I’m a writer, after years of wondering if I had just been pretending.

That alone makes this journey worth it.

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