Writing: you gotta love it and you gotta hate it!
I love churning out 5,000 words in a day. But I hate deleting 5,000 words from a section that just wasn’t working. (Some things you’ve added to your story just don’t fit and can’t be saved.)
I love coming up with a surprise ending. But I hate having to wade through 400 pages to fix spoilers and drop in appropriate hints for the alert reader. (I know from experience that alert readers will let you know when you missed one thing.)
I love approving press proofs. But I hate proof reading and finding yet another typo or a missing question mark. (I personally believe that errors are real entities that get to work after you shut down your computer for the night.)
I love learning new facts in the research process. But I hate having to distill complex research results into palatable insights that keep the story interesting and realistic without bogging it down. (I’m probably not the only writer who has to stop myself from “impressing” readers with the latest theories on the sociopathic mind.)
I love a five-star review. But I hate a two-star review simply because a reader doesn’t like my genre. (Rule for Reviewers: if you don’t like mysteries, don’t review mysteries.)
I love when the words flow. But I hate when words are like a wood splinter that you have to pick at for hours to get out from under your skin. (How many times can you rewrite the opening paragraph?)
I love that opportunities to publish are limitless. But I hate that there are so many books cluttering the marketplace. (I have a million author friends who agree with me wholeheartedly.)
I love when people say it must be great to be a writer. But I hate when people ask if it was hard. (Yes, it can be very hard.)
I love finishing a 100,000-word book. But I hate when I only have 40,000 words written of a 100,000-word book that has a looming deadline. (This is my life story. I thank God for the last minute or I’d never get anything done.)
I love reviewing other writers’ ideas. But I hate when they really weren’t interested in feedback and critique. (If you really love what you have done, don’t ask for criticism.)
I love talking to people about my book. But I hate having to be a self-promoter with family, friends, and strangers alike. (Doesn’t mean you won’t see another post with the latest-greatest-review on my Facebook feed.)
I love leaving a tangible expression of my thoughts and creativity in book form. But I hate it when book sales languish. (Check out M.K. Gilroy titles on Amazon and other fine book-selling sites right now!)
I love when the designer nails a cover that fits the theme perfectly. But I hate directing a third round of cover design tweaks. (If you can’t read the title in postage-stamp size, neither will online book buyers.)
So you want to be a writer? Great! It’s good for your mental and emotional health, except when it isn’t. What a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles. You’ll absolutely love writing the book that’s on your heart. But don’t do start writing unless you are ready to struggle and fight over a phrase; unless you are ready for manuscript-reviewers and editors to beat you up; unless you are ready to put countless hours into an endeavor that may never experience widespread consumption and generate fabulous wealth; unless you are ready to sit in front of the computer, all by your lonesome self, without affirmation and encouragement and feedback from others.
If you’re like me, when you really dig into the task of writing, you’re gonna love it … but you’re gonna hate it!