Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Is the Hard Work Worth It?

Doug and Wendy Whiner are in the house lately.  Well, they're in my brain, anyway, cutting loose with a chorus of "This is HAAAAARD!"  Normally, I try to make this blog have some sort of redeeming value.  I put thought into it and try to make it relevant to the writing craft and the writing experience.  And I try to post once a week.  Well, this week, I failed.  I also try not to post about lame excuses and whine about why I can't keep up with my writing goals.  I'm not interested in blogs that do that, so I assume you aren't interested in that either.

But this week, I have waded into an unproductive swamp.  And all I can think of to say about the craft is "Writing is HAAAAARD!  WAHHHH!"  My drill sergeant self says, "Get over yourself, get off your duff and out of bed and sit down and do it, damn it!  Quit bellyaching!  Of course it's hard!  Anything worth doing is hard!  So what?"  Funny thing.  That drill sergeant voice doesn't seem to be doing the trick.  But it's right, you know.  Writing is hard.  And so what?  Perhaps the question is, is the hard work worth it?  And worth it by what criteria?

On the other hand, "Is the hard work worth it?" seems like the wrong question.  It's not like I'm suddenly going to stop wanting to write stories or express experiences and thoughts through the written word.  That's always there.  It's part of me.  The question is whether I am willing to do the hard work required to take it to the next level.  Is that worth it?  That's a task that goes beyond the joyful creation of stories.  That's a task that requires longterm commitment and determination and slogging through those swampy areas and sticking your neck out and getting knocked down and failing over and over and over again.  It takes patience and focus and a tough hide.

Still, that question "Is it worth it?" doesn't seem to fit.  "Am I ready to give up?" might be more to the point.  That's the bottom line, isn't it?  Am I ready to give up on this larger notion of writing novels and submitting novels and finding an agent and a publisher?  That's the bottom line.  Am I willing to give up on that because it's "TOO HAAAARD!"  Nope.  Nope.  Not yet.  Drill sergeant wins.

What about you?  Is the hard work worth it?  Worth it by what criteria?  Are you ready to give up?  What keeps you going?


  1. What keeps me going? In the end I think I have to say: new ideas. Because while I imagine it is the hope of some tangible reward for the writing: production, publication, royalty checks large enough to pay mortgages and bills, the reality is that I complete one project with those things in mind, and then I get a new idea that puts me back in the chair. I've tried giving up. I have sincerely tried to stay away from writing, with no luck. Why? new ideas. A new story simply had to be expressed. Am I saying it's never hard for me? No. Sometimes expressing that story is hard. That's why I usually work on two or three at a time. Good luck, Cindy! Sounds to me like you're in it for the long haul. xo

    1. I always appreciate your comments, Sandra, and you are an inspiration to me as you plow bravely ahead into the new world of publishing.


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