Writing is Hard

Dog Tired
Dog Tired, But The Book Is Done

Believe It Or Not, Writing Is Really Hard Work
It can be so hard you sometimes ask yourself…what’s the point?

For more than 30 years, I woke up before six o’clock, got a cup of coffee, drove an hour to work, sat at my desk (or in my cubicle), and pattered out whatever I needed to do to accomplish the most current assignment.

Meeting results, ad copy, annual reports, public relations blather. When I finished one set, it would be on to the next one.

It’s when I learned what ad infinitum meant.

Then, when everything was done for the day (or I just couldn’t see straight any more) I drove another hour home, arriving too tired to do much of anything.

I’ve been told I did my nine-to-five (or -six, or -eight, or -midnight) quite well. A lot of the ad copy, PR blather and marketing hype won awards…but I would rather have been writing a novel.

However, I had a wife, a house payment, credit card debt and kids, so I needed to make a living. Starving in a garret for the sake of my “art” was out of the question.

So, I had a full-time job (most of the time) and trying to find time to write fiction, which I doubted would ever make me a dime, made me feel selfish.

But I did it anyway.

Writing Fiction
When I did try to write fiction in those early days, I couldn’t concentrate as well as I should have, because I knew at any moment something would interrupt me. My wife. The kids. A broken water heater. We seldom had enough money; the kids needed braces and our old car was always breaking down…but I wrote.

When I finally got something together, usually a short story (for a long time it was the only thing I ever had time to finish) typed out laboriously on my old Smith-Corona, I sometimes had to wait until I could afford manila envelopes and stamps to send it anywhere.

Then I’d wait on pins-and-needles for weeks before I had to deal with the rejection letters…collecting several shoeboxes full of them before I got smart, and pitched the lot of them to get rid of the negative reminders.

Sending out all those queries and stories was more often a chore than anything remotely constituting fun. Toward the end, no one even bothered to send out rejection letters any more. They just didn’t answer you.

But I did it anyway.

Sometimes it felt like trying to separate the Earth from the moon by blowing through a soda straw, and yet I kept working at it. I kept showing up.

I’ve retired from my “make a living” existence, yet I still do it, send out queries and stories…or lately, more likely, indie-publishing the ones I think are the best.

To that end, I finally finished that story I’ve been telling you about for this past year. “One Way Street” – the sequel to my novel “Reichold Street” – is available now on Amazon…finally.

And still I write.

I have a sequel to the sequel in mind.

The Question Is Why?
I have to do it. It’s one of the few real certainties of my life, right up there with knowing my wife truly loves me (why, I sometimes can’t fathom), and it’s exactly why I will, in all likelihood, continue to write. I have to.

As Isaac Asimov, one of my favorite authors, was once quoted as saying, “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d just type a little faster.”

I understood…exactly…where he was coming from. I write because I have to. Why do writers do that? In all honesty, the point of it all is because there is no alternative.

You are a writer. You show up.

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You can find my books on Amazon. You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Facebook page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on Twitter.

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P.S. I participated in another book-signing today, at a local bookstore called the Michigan Book Boutique. To say they were lined-up to get in would be…well…a bald-faced lie.

But I did have the good fortune to share the day with another writer, Keith Faigin. His book is called The Bone Eaters, and if it lives up to its hype “a fast-moving combination of mystery, horror and humor” it should be a great read. I’ll let you know.

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