All my life I’ve been attracted to weird things. And all my life I’ve been very much aware that other people think I’m weird for being attracted to those weird things. Sometimes it’s that I can’t help but be drawn in by all the different facets of human darkness. Sometimes it’s that I get interested in a subject that seems complicated and obscure, and extremely boring, to others. But whatever my latest passion is at the moment I can be sure that it’s not something that a whole lot of other people understand.
It’s hard to talk about what it means to be a writer to other people who are not writers.
Because most of the time, they really, really don’t get it.
When you tell someone who is not a writer that you’re writing a book they usually ask one of these types of questions:
What is it about writing a book that’s so hard?
Obviously, we know it’s a lot of mental work. Committing to the time, unraveling plot and character, editing and revisions. Every step of the process takes energy and attention out of our already busy lives. But for anyone who’s ever tried, it becomes apparent that the hardest part isn’t the time or effort involved.
I joined my first writing program in San Francisco in 2006 and it was great. But—it was just that, a writing program geared toward including a lot of members. The structure was based on a community numbering around 50 different writers. I got a lot of work done in the program (started and finished my first novel), but I didn’t make the close friends I was hoping to find there.
Traditional versus self-publishing has been a hot topic for quite some time now, with authors divided vehemently between the two. I have clients who are self-published and wouldn’t have it any other way. I also have clients who went the traditional route via agent to publisher and would never dream of doing it different.