Some say you’re a writer the moment you’re published, others when you make enough money to quit your day job. I like to think that it’s as soon as you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and bring words to life. In any case, you’re a writer, and that means there are certain things that you need to accept. Things such as…
As soon as you feel like a writer, prepare to fall into a slump. Even the best ideas written with such passion that the word count stacks up daily will hit a slump. You won’t know where the story is going, and you won’t feel like writing. How long the slump lasts and how to pull yourself out of it is up to you. You can wait it out and take a break, or write through it. The best way to deal with it is to know a slump will eventually find you, and that it will eventually pass.
You know that brilliant idea that allowed daily escapes into a world you created all because you sat at your desk and turned words into magic? Now you hate the manuscript that idea turned in to and want to set it on fire. The reason being: endless drafts.
Books, especially first drafts, aren’t perfect. They won’t be close to it even on the second or third draft. As a writer, you will do draft after draft. You will re-read every word, question every plot twist, double-check every piece of dialogue, and round out each character multiple times. You will then do this over and over and over again. Then you will do one last draft. Accept it and know that with each pass you’re making your book better. Also remember to stock up on the writer fuel of your choice—coffee, tea, chocolate, and the will to get through one more edit.
Once you decide to become a writer, your brain turns on the idea switch. You’ll get ideas about your current WIP, future stories, and ideas that won’t make sense until the story is complete. Ideas will come that change everything you’ve already written. You’ll also have ideas that will destroy your characters but have to be included because they’re so good. These ideas will ignite through your brain in the middle of the night, while you’re in the shower, when you’re out walking, and always when you have no pen. Hold on to the ideas, note them down, and write them the best way that you can.
How Much Writing Will Save You
Now for the final (and my most favorite) thing about being a writer; how much the act of writing will save you. Writing will give you a reason to get out of bed. It will make you feel like you’re doing what you were born to do. It will fill your hours with joy, heartache, and frustration. It will pull you through rejections, and it will allow you to process events that have left scars on your heart. Writing will help you, writing will save you, writing will heal you—all you have to do is accept it.
— K.M. Allan