Thoughts on the Writing Process (And Some Stuff About Muses)
So you want to be a writer?
Why not? Anyone can be anything if they put their heart and mind to it.
Maybe, that’s the sort of stuff you have been raised on, and you believe that the world is here to do your bidding. But, if you want to avoid the heartbreaks down the road, then you should realize that, in this day and age, everything has become exponentially harder. To be good at something, to be known for it, to be great at it, now requires infinitely more hard work than it did in the times when our parents were growing up.
I usually start my posts a little more optimistically, but, I think, that was something that had to be said. Now, having cleared that out of the way, let’s come to the reason I’m writing this post. “I want to be a writer”, said an ambitious voice inside me, today. This time, I think, I’ll listen.
The written word has always enchanted me. It’s almost magical how writers can move people with words. The best speeches ever delivered were once written on paper. They are words that were carefully crafted to move, stir, and inspire. As William Zissner in his seminal work, On Writing Well, said, no great piece of writing is an accident.
But, are you the kind of a person who doesn’t believe in miracles? The kind of person who has to have proof of everything. You know the kind of person religious people find intolerable.
Then you might be someone who doesn’t believe in muses. Right? You must be the kind of masochist who revels in the knowledge that the artist is a lonesome character, toiling away at the keyboard in some secluded residence, away from society, and forever condemned to a life of poverty and obscurity.
But then there are instances where you stop to think, maybe the artists of the old were really up to something about the muses. Maybe, they do exist. Case in point, I’m writing this in a frenzy of inspiration that had failed to materialize all day, and now, all of a sudden, I am writing something. Here’s what happened:
I was about to go out for a walk right now, and I’m all ready to go out of the door when suddenly I remember that I have to shut down my laptop. I come back, sit with the intent of turning it off, and all of a sudden, like floodgates opening, words start gushing out. And that’s how this post came to be.
Writing is hard work, and if anyone tells you otherwise, stop taking writing-related advice from them because if they persist in insisting that writing is easy, you might just be inclined to punch them in the face.
So why do I want to be a writer when writing is an underappreciated and ungrateful job? I must be mad. Maybe. But writing, for me, is more than just something to pay the bills with. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to get your bills paid by doing the work you love. I just rather enjoy writing for its own sake.
Sometimes, I just want to rant, I want to vent, I want to scream at the top of my lungs. That’s when I’d rather write. I’d rather lay it on the page — my bare soul and all its contents for the world to see.
The one kind of writer that the Internet has forever banished from our memories is the obscure writer. You cannot be an obscure anything in the age of the Internet and social media, where good, helpful content finds the readers than the readers actually finding the content themselves.
So, to put everything in perspective, I still have some ways to go to become the writer I want to be, but I no longer have to be an obscure writer, while I develop my style; I don’t have to go hungry, while I wait for someone to discover me; and, I don’t have to be alone when I write because I believe that muses from above smile at me.