You're probably thinking, c'mon, Sam. What's with the pessimism? Being a writer is awesome! Don't get me wrong, folks. Writing books is the one thing in my life that I've never lost any love for, because stories are everything for me. I breathe stories. I beat stories (like, with my heart and stuff). I eat stories for breakfast and second breakfast. I wouldn't be the awesome person I am today if it wasn't for my crazy obsession with random markings on dead trees that make me sort of hallucinate (because if you really think about it, that's kind of strange but so, so cool).
The thing is, there is this certain perception that a lot of people have about the writer life that can be damaging to dreamers. Hell, even I had this perception when I got serious about this shit. I thought writing a novel was this whole uplifting and spiritual experience where ideas went off like sparklers in your head, making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I imagined myself sitting in a coffee shop, just sipping out of paper cups and happily tapping away at my keyboard while people turned in their seats to watch me with awe. I believed it would be exactly like this, but then, when I actually sat down to write my first novel, my mind was blank. Every epic idea I ever had decided to pack and leave in the middle of the night. The coffee didn't taste as good as I'd imagined in my daydreams, and people weren't watching me like I just descended from the heavens. Nobody high-fived me when I told them I was writing a book. They were more concerned than anything -- wondering when I would get a "real job."
This perception that people have is a huge part of being a writer, but it's not all gloomy. The thing is, once you accept that it's not this beautiful fantasy where words flow out of your fingertips like water from a fountain, and that most of the time you're going to be staring at a bunch of words like it's the biggest riddle of all time, it'll become easier. The secret -- the only secret -- to dealing with any writer problem is to do what you do best.
It is to write.
Just keep tapping away at that keyboard. Don't worry about what other people are saying about your "doomed profession." Don't beat yourself up for not writing 1,000 words a day like that other writer. Make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or tea if you're an alien), sit at your messy little desk and write your brains out. You won't look forward to it everyday, but that doesn't mean you stop. Nobody who stopped trying ever got published. Every writer you look up to felt hopeless a lot of the times, but we have one thing in common that gives us all the courage to keep on writing: we are hopelessly in love with storytelling.
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