Passion and Complacency

Writing is hard. Being a writer is even harder. I suppose then it makes sense when these things I’m going to talk about occur, but it was bothering me a lot, so I decided to talk about it here. This may come off as somewhat of a rant, and for that I apologize, but I hope you get something out of it anyway.

I’ve been around a lot of young writers before; both young in age and in experience. They start out being excited and enthusiastic and thinking they can be the next big seller just because they finished a first draft of their book. Heck, a lot of them don’t even get that far, they’re just overly excited about the idea of their stories before writing them. Then they actually get into writing them and realize that this whole writing thing is a whole lot harder than it initially sounded. Sometimes the simple fact that it’s hard to get through will stagger anyone who wants to be a writer and they give up entirely without trying to move ahead, never even finishing their first draft, perhaps never even getting farther than a first chapter, if they finish it at all.

But then there are those people who do move past that stage. They push past those mental blocks of anguish and finish their first draft, and celebrate as if they’ve just made the best sellers list.  Unfortunately, sometimes people act like the fact they finish a novel will put them on the best sellers list immediately. I notice this not only in young writers, but also the parents of young (teenage) writers. The parents immediately act like “Oh, look at my child, they wrote a novel! They must publish it immediately and make lots of money from it!” This line of thinking can be dangerous for many reasons, but most of all because it’s setting up for failure, and that failure can not only be discouraging, but also detrimental to their career later in life if they were to try and get traditionally published. The publishers could find a self-published book by that author that did terribly and immediately reject them. But I’m getting away from my point.

Young writers will start off with great enthusiasm and passion for what they want to do, but when they really get into it, they can lose all their drive for writing stories, either because it’s too hard, they don’t want to put work into it, or they want to be perfectionists and end up feeling like they’re not good enough. Or then there are those people who just don’t take writing seriously at all. Those are generally people who end up creating bad fan fiction. They think writing is just for fun and they can do whatever they want with it, making the characters do whatever they want with no coherent story, development, or motivations. They often see writing as a joke, it’s for nothing but fun, and they’ll discourage the more serious writers by making fun of their writing for being too serious and making suggestions that would make it worse.

Again, I seem to be getting away from my point. My point is that there seem to be a lot of writers who don’t take writing seriously enough, either because they think of it as nothing but a hobby, or a joke, or because they find out that it’s too hard and they don’t try to get any better. There are so many people who talk about wanting to be a writer in a serious way, but they hold themselves back, either by not trying hard enough to push through their blocks, or not taking their writing seriously and essentially only writing fan fiction or personal pieces that shouldn’t be shown to anyone else. I’m not saying you can’t learn from doing things like that, but there does seem to be a tendency that when you do write things like that, your writing quality drops immensely as opposed to if you’re writing in a way that you’re expecting to be published.

I’ve seen a lot of people claiming to be writers, claiming to want to write seriously, hoping to be published, and yet they don’t really seem to take it as seriously as they need to. Maybe I’m just too serious about it, though. I’m not saying you need to do nothing but writing to actually be serious about it, but it does feel like to me that a lot of people I’ve seen don’t try hard enough and then get discouraged when they can’t get anywhere with it. Or maybe I’m just discouraged over the fact that even among the writing communities I’ve been part of, many people seem to care so little about writing.

This was definitely a rant, so I apologize. I’ll leave you with this final thought. If you are truly passionate about writing – or really anything for that matter – pursue it as far as you can go. It will be hard, it will hurt sometimes, but if you truly care about it, keep going with it all the way. Don’t become complacent about it and act as if you don’t care anymore. Don’t lose the fire in your heart for the thing you love. Just keep pushing through and eventually you’ll make it.

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