1. Both the people at the level below you and the people at the level above you suspect there is no need for you at all.
2. You’d rather not be at your desk most days, but if you didn’t have a desk to go to, you’d probably die.
3. You do all the work, but get little credit, and only a tenth of the pay you think you deserve.
4. You’ve come a long way to get where you are, which is great for about 5 seconds until you realise that you’ve got such a long way to go yet that you may as well have never started at all.
5. Most of the suggestions thrown your way are not suggestions at all, but in fact direct orders which are almost impossible to comply with.
6. You are forced to say things you don’t believe regarding things you don’t care about.
7. You think you have a fair amount of autonomy, until you try to get creative and deviate from the status quo, at which point you find out that you have no say in anything whatsoever.
8. You often despair of what you’re doing, but you don’t mind too much having to say what you do when meeting new people.
9. Every now and then, just when you’re about to throw in the towel, you will receive some unexpected praise, or be treated to a lovely lunch. This will keep you going indefinitely. You’re fickle like that.
10. There’s always someone you’d like to be, and someone else you’re glad you’re not.
There could be a ton of these: “Why Being A Writer Is Like Being A Zookeeper” “Why Being A Writer Is Like Shopping for Underpants” or even “Why Being A Writer Is Like Eating Raw Sea Anemones”…. the prospects are endless! All we need are some weak comparisons, a five-minute window of procrastination, and an uncritical audience! What do you think being a writer is like?
Reblogged this on The Writers' Workshop Blog and commented:
Great post Tara, I love the metaphors. I think Hemmingway says it well; “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” -Ernest Hemmingway
Thank you Jean! There are probably 60 more… every day I’m in the office is more comedy material, or should I say ammunition 😉
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
Any more ideas on what it’s like to be a writer? Let Tara know 😀 😀 😀
Thanks for the reblog, Chris. Hopefully we’ll be up to a hundred by sundown 😉
😀 😀 😀
I just had to reblog this one. Hemmingway knew what he was talking about when he said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
For me, writing is sometimes like finding all the correct pieces when doing a complicated jigsaw puzzle and at other times it’s like searching for hens’ teeth.
I love those comparisons, Jean. So true!
I think most writers are olympian procrastinators! 😉 I know I am.
There should be a series of events – the 100-minute procrastination, the 10,000 minute, and and the supreme event – the tri-procrastathon (also incorporating social media admin, and a full week’s washing-up)
My Mum always wanted to write a book. She’s procrastinated a whole lifetime. I still keep trying to persuade her to have a go now.
Let me know how you get on. I wish my Dad would write a book. But if you even mentioned it, you’d have to go on holidays to Australia to drown out the laughing.
Oh so true Tara. I’m reblogging this. 🙂
Hmm – your reblog button aint working for some reason :p
Oh dear, it was working earlier. Sorry Jack. I think it’s a WordPress problem… out of my control sadly. I’ll look into it on a different computer later and see if it’s changed…
Soon I hope 😉
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Well Tara, as you said, the comparisons could just go on XD. I’d like to know how is it similar to buying an underwear though (I mean, getting one shouldn’t be that complicated a process, or is it?)
On any given day, writing for me feels like any of the following (in no particular order):
a) dreaming of discovering the gold pot at the end of a rainbow, only to learn that there’s no such thing as gold pots and that rainbows are no more than a scientific phenomenon involving sunlight, rain and the luck of happening to be there to witness it (welcome to reality, my friend);
b) looking for the address of an old friend in an unfamiliar city with its alleyways and mazes, only to be told when you finally reach the place that your friend has moved away since long ago and that s/he wasn’t as such a good friend as to let you know (you thought you’ve reached the finish line? sorry buddy, you haven’t even started);
c) looking after a baby who cries at night when you want to sleep and sleeps in the day when you want to play/feed/whatever him/her (writer’s block? oh don’t you worry, your brain will definitely start working after midnight);
d) being Batman (‘cos, you know, sometimes it happens that you rock);
e) living in Britain, and ranting about the weather (‘cos when the going gets tough, what else can you do?)
f) watching a documentary about the British weather (so then you know you ain’t the only one who has it tough);
g) getting an umbrella and enjoying the hell out of the British weather (if you don’t enjoy it, no one else is going to);
At the end of the day, it boils down (g): Writing is the Adventure of your Lifetime. You may get lost many times, come face-to-face with a pride of starved lions, even mistake a mine cart for your train ride and end up riding through unexplored cave, but what will finally emerge is a hardened, older you that can proudly look back on the mishaps and tell the next generation of kids how you clearly remember the days when you’ve been there and done that (and of course, write a bestseller travel log; after all, who else but you has experienced a real mine-cart ride?).
Writing is fun, and YAY for adventure!
Well, Warsin, I hope that writing might soon be more like being Batman than a, b or c! Infinitely better to be Batman most days than almost anything else. And whatever else, it certainly sounds like you’re having an adventure as we speak!
Being a writer is like being a murderer, being a writer is like being a music producer, being a writer is like being that person who you always knew to be little different but never knew if it is known medical issue or personality quirk, being a writer is like a being a mom, and my favorite: being a writer is like a being,
My bet is that it was always a medical issue, Przemek… particularly if they were writers 😉
I think there is always the case to answer that all writers are slightly mad. After all who else in this world would work gratefully for far less than minimum pay and be pleased to do it. Who else would smile manically on receipt of a good review and weep uncontrollably (and sulk for a week) for a bad one. Curse the day we were born upon finding a lonely spelling mistake or grammatical error that we missed on our tenth reading of our finished novel. So we write and complete a novel or story or essay and then, do we smile?, are we pleased with ourselves? Nope we go back to the start and read it again. And again and so on. I haven’t even read “A Tale of Two Cities” as often as i have any of my own novels (and they are not nearly as good).
yet of course these are the obvious things and so to prove my point: To write dialogue well you have to be in each of your characters heads at the same time. Schizophrenia creeps in then as you have to switch between characters instantly and still make it believable.
well of course you have to.
because you have to its part of the story you fool.
who are calling a fool? fool.
you. well err… you see what i mean.
It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Living inside a writer’s head. Do you know, they should have free holiday camps for writers, where they can go and unwind by eh… not thinking and eh… playing sport… except they’re probably really bad at sport and this will make them think of their own inadequacy and mortality and eh…
Yes. Back to the keyboard so.
Being a writer is like being a jigsaw puzzler–always searching, searching, searching for that one damn piece that’s missing and is now most likely somewhere deep inside the dog’s gullet, irretrievable and most likely never to have eyes laid upon it.
A lovely post, Tara. Look forward to many more!
Thank you! I thought I was the only person on the planet to have had my creative genius end up deep inside the dog’s gullet, but I can see I was mistaken. And there was that time my creative genius ended up baked into a soggy tart. I really should be more careful. Thanks for the visit!
Hi Tara, This is so true and so very funny at the same time! I wrote a post once where I said that writing at times can feel like chipping away at a mountain, trying to get at a little nugget of gold hidden right at the centre. Trying to find an agent or publisher is much the same feeling, although you’re also climbing the mountain at the same time using a rapidly fraying rope. At the moment I feel as though I’m wrestling unwieldy paragraphs into place, as I’m doing a structural edit. God knows what will happen when I get round to actually editing the language. But at the same time I love it, and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else! Writers, hey?
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I love the analogy, Helen! The mountain may also have rockfalls, and vultures picking at carcasses all around, and strategically placed false footholds… I can’t say so much that I want to get off the mountain, as I’ve found I no longer have the ability. It’s re-hardwired my brain…
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Ha ha yes – we’re all trapped on the mountain! Guess we’d better keep climbing 🙂
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