Monday, April 16, 2012
“Hey! I can write a book!” by Linda S. Glaz
“What’s the big deal? Anyone can write a book if they have a good idea, right?”
As writers, I’m afraid to say we hear this often enough to irritate a saint. It’s assumed that an individual comes up with a great story line, sits at a computer, plunks out the story, and then the publishers are lined up at the door ready for an auction.
“I could write a book if I wanted to. It isn’t brain surgery!” Now, here is a truth. It’s not brain surgery. A surgeon knows that he’ll use all of his skills, construct something brilliant, receive dozens of kudos from his friends and the patient’s family, and then take home a paycheck(even if the patient doesn’t make it). An author knows he’ll sweat blood, write something brilliant for hours, lay her heart bare by allowing it to be read, rewrite, bleed some more, and take home…no paycheck. Another truth? Writing, while an absolute living, breathing necessity for some, can produce as much heartache as it does joy. It isn’t a profession for the thin-skinned or weak of heart. It IS a profession for masochists. And while I say that tongue-in-cheek, there is a bit of reality in it. We don’t live for instant gratification in our jobs, but that would be nice. We don’t expect Cinderella stories of immediate fame, but that would be nice. We don’t have improbable expectations realized like winners in a lottery, but that would be nice too.
We are hard working individuals, male and female, with people living in our heads, telling us stories: some sad, some happy, some downright bizarre, but there are stories to be told. And the only way those people in our heads can come alive is if we are the conduits that transport their tales to the rest of the world.
Puck. Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Eyre. Clark Kent. Sherlock Holmes. Sir Lancelot. Anne of Green Gables. The Cat in the Hat. Hamlet. James Bond. Moby Dick.
Imagine growing up and never having met some of these wonderful folks. If the author had balked at the life he’d been called to, would we ever have known Scrooge? Scarlett and Rhett? Or even—shudder—Hannibal Lecter???
Imagine this generation of readers without Bella and Edward…Katniss and Peeta.
Right on, oh mighty writers, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a big deal. It is. A very big deal. And you are the one to take that big deal to the readers. It is what you do. Don’t lose faith, don’t turn your back on your craft, don’t EVER GIVE UP!