I have always loved writing. I was probably one of those few kids who knew very early
on what they wanted to do in life. Nope, I didn’t want to be a pilot, or a doctor (sorry
mom) or something fancy like my other classmates. My choice of profession was very
non-glamorous. I wanted to be a writer. I had a good command of the language, had
read quite a bit, and I thought it would be an easy, fun profession for me. I forayed into writing professionally about a year ago. By “professionally” I just mean that I now have deadlines, and I get paid to do what’s technically my hobby. Sounds fun right? Well…
A) 9-5 JOB.
When you are a writer you are continuously working. It’s no 9-5 job. Most writers
don’t really work from an office, but from the comforts of their bed or their study
desk, so technically work is never further than a few feet when you’re at home. Even
those who do go to an office, like me, always take their work back with them. You
are constantly researching, writing down things so you don’t forget or trying to crack
some plot point that has you tearing your hair. As a writer, your stories and
characters are always on your mind. Even when you aren’t typing away at your
laptop, your mind is constantly clouded with what your next chapter or scene is
going to be.
I have found myself working in a cab on the way to meet my boyfriend because I suddenly thought of a funny dialogue, in a salon as a wait for my appointment because I finally had a breakthrough, during a holiday thanks to those deadlines I alluded to before, at 3 am, at 5 am because…well because that’s what writers do in my experience.
B) Lonely…I am so lonely.
This brings me to point B. Being a writer is pretty darn lonely. I mean, I do my best
work when I am alone. I can’t have a Chatty Cathy sitting beside me, I can’t have
music playing, I can’t even have my parents in the living room watching TV
sometimes! It might be cause I’m still a novice, but I get distracted way too quickly. I also like to read out loud my dialogues and pretend to be my characters so I can
see in my mind’s eye what they would do in a certain situation …and let’s be honest, that is very embracing to do in front of people! I have often shut myself in a room, or gone to office on off days so I can be productive and alone… only to feel
really lonely. As you can see, it’s a classic catch 22.
C) Constant validation.
My boss once told me that being a writer is super hard because you work and work
and work but the rewards are few and sparse. There are no meetings or
presentations to ace, no reports you can send off and sigh in relief. It’s all one long
journey till that big reward of seeing your name on a book or a movie screen. The
most exciting part of writing for me is that first spark of the idea, and putting together the story like a puzzle piece. But the truth is that that’s just the first step. 80% of your time “writing” is spent fixing what you have already written and then waiting. Love for writing will not always sail you through this waiting period. You have to find ways to keep yourself interested and motivated. What I do is try and have a “hobby project” on the side. Something I write just to challenge myself and feel invigorated by when the drafting and re-drafting process gets tedious.
In the small time span that I have been writing, there are a few other helpful tips I’ve come up with for young writers.
1. Distinguish between your personal space and work space
When I’m writing on my laptop, and want to watch you-tube or eat food, I make the conscious effort to move to a new space. I’ll move from the bed to the sofa or vice versa. In a small way it helps you switch off from work mode.
2. White noise is very helpful when you want to switch your brain off
If you find yourself unconsciously pondering over the same writer’s block over and over again, put on your headphones and relax.
3. WRITE THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH!
The most scary sight for me is a cursor blinking on an empty page. WRITE THAT
FIRST PARAGRAPH. It only gets easier after that. As a novice, the perfect
words might not always come to you. Write down what you can and then start
going over it with a fine comb. I promise this is not my way of venting frustrations. This is more of a reality check for all the youngsters like me who think that writing is a piece of cake, or a fall back option. In no way am I calling it the hardest or most tiresome job out there, but hey, don’t underestimate it either!
Everything said, I love my job. I wake up every day, excited for what’s in store, I never feel bored like or like a small cog in a big corporate machine because as s a writer you create your own world.
Raina Roy Instagram handle- https://www.instagram.com/rainaroy6/?hl=en
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