Who Ever Said Writing Was Romantic?
Right now, as I write this blog post, I’m sitting in my “man room” with my legs propped up watching the Cowboys and Giants play on Sunday Night Football.
I’m barefooted, and I have on a white undershirt and old khaki shorts. I’m in my house, in the dark, and I kind of feel like falling asleep in my chair.
Sadly, a cabin in the woods overlooking a secluded lake is not in my world at the moment.
When people say “I want to be a writer one day,” sometimes I get the impression that they expect a writing career to be something like that. I would say 99% of writers in the world are like me–they work on their craft at a desk, in their office, maybe with their laptop on a couch.
During the day, when I actually get paid to write, I sit in a cubicle next to a window that actually does have a nice view–but that view is of a tree with a large mall in the background.
Again, not exactly a cabin in the woods.
I was talking about this with my coworkers a few days ago, and our general consensus was that the writing life is misunderstood. We’ve bought too much into nonsensical Hollywood film scripts.
Most writers are portrayed as famous novelists who’ve made millions and can afford that second house secluded in nature–or that high-rise condo over looking downtown. It’s where they get away to write another award-winning novel after their publisher pays them hundreds of thousands of dollars to do the work.
But, in reality, most writers, most of you guys, are like me.
We’re bloggers. We’re copywriters. We’re short-form article writers. We write ads and manuals and boring web copy that tells you to click here and go there.
That’s the reality of writing.
Writing isn’t sexy, not even close, no matter what Hollywood tells you. Most of it doesn’t take place in high rises in Manhattan or in secluded cabins.
But that’s okay. Because if you love to write, then you don’t care about that.
If you love to write, you love to write–whether it’s ads or manuals or boring web copy. That’s the kind of writing that pays the bills during the day while you’re at home in your boxers writing the next Great American Novel at night.
So what’s the point of this post?
This is just a reality check. If you think you’re not a writer because your life isn’t like the writers you see in the movies, then I’ve got news for you: You’ve got it all wrong.
The writing life is about greasy hair and undershirts and boxers and bare feet and a comfortable spot on the couch right after the kids fall asleep. The writing life is about finding 30 minutes of alone time with your laptop during your lunch break.
The writing life is definitely not some romantic fantasy world in which you hang out with Hemingway wanna-be’s at coffee shops in Paris.
Put simply, the writing life is a lot of hard work.
Am I wrong here?