You know the bit of advice that goes something like, “if you want to be a better writer, then you have to read all the time.”
I don’t know if I believe that anymore. I just tried reading a particular best selling book which falls under the genre, “Mommy Porn”.
Unless you live in a cave you probably can guess the title. I read it not because of the subject matter, but because it’s getting so much hype. My original intent was to study this book and try to discern its magical formula for success. I mean if writing sex scenes can make me and my book famous, I’m in baby. Here’s an author who seemed to appear out of nowhere to become an overnight success. This book has made the cover of several major magazines. There are even rumors of it becoming a movie–Oh my! (That’s a hilarious inside reference to those of you who bothered reading this… book.)
So basically I learned what sells really well to one crowd, annoys the ever-loving hell out of me. I couldn’t write like that if I wanted to. There’s no amount of money on earth that could make me write like that. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being pretentious, I mean I literally can’t write like that. It’s not my thing. It never was my thing. It just can’t happen. I was looking for a get-rich-quick answer to writing and discovered, like with everything else, there is none.
We all get down on ourselves. We’re writers; it is part of what we do. When we get to feeling low, we inevitably see someone being successful. Outwardly we say “Good for them” but really we hate their friggin guts. It’s the whole “Why not me” game. It’s a lousy, downward spiraling course that ultimately ends with us not doing anything at all because, “We’re not good enough”. Well funk that. Funk it in its funk hole.
We have to keep writing what we want to write and finishing it. I’m not really good at the last part. I let my stuff hang in oblivion. I really need to get better at working through to the end of a project. Hopefully next month my article will be a little lighter and I’ll be able to report some forward progress, but for now I need to be a hard-ass and make myself get to work. And you too. True, you probably won’t become an overnight success, you won’t be on Oprah’s book club and you won’t make millions. But who cares, you didn’t become a writer to be famous, you became a writer to write and there’s satisfaction in that alone. You’re a writer so what’s stopping you? Poor time management, family and friends doubting you, a lousy comment from a beta reader—WHO CARES. Stop the self-hatred spiral and go finish what you started. And hurry it up, I’m running out of cool stuff to read.