10 Things That only Writers Will Know

By on October 21, 2016
10 Things That only Writers Will Know

Ah, writing. It’s a funny old game is it not? In fact, it is probably fair to say that there is no other job quite like it in the world. Until you live the life of a writer there are just some things that you can’t possibly understand!

Here are ten things only writers will know:

1. Working for free

No other job requires you to work yourself to the bone, suffer hideous rejections, be told to go back to the drawing board even though you have put your heart and soul into something, or spending hours writing brilliant, polite, well-thought-out enquiry letters only to be ignored entirely. Oh and not getting paid for any of it!

There is nothing quite like looking back over the past three years exhausted and penniless to know that you're a real writer now my son.

2. The midnight sweat as a deadline approaches

Deadlines, deadline, deadlines. When you first agreed to take on that job you had bags of time, and then somehow life just got in the way. Now you’ve got to send it off in 8 hours, and you are still staring at your blank computer screen unsure where to start with that horrible ‘I haven’t done my homework feeling’. We’ve all been there. It’s no fun.

3. The excruciating pain of writing

Writing sometimes feels like being asked to sing in front of a group of strangers when you know that you sound like a bag of cats (or something like that). It feels terrifying; you get nervous. That inner critic continuously mocks you and tells you you're not good enough, that you are dumb for even trying.

Many people think being a writer is easy. But there are few other jobs where the mental torture is quite so intense and consistent, regardless of how successful you become!

4. The myth of writer's block

Writers know that writer's block doesn’t actually exist. It’s just an excuse for not doing your work!

5. Having to take constructive criticism with a smile on your face *grits teeth*

When you have poured your heart and soul into something seeing it being chopped up, changed, ripped apart, etc. is pretty heartbreaking. Even if they are right, and have made it loads better, it still hurts.

6. Being constantly indebted to everyone around you

You neglect your family, make your friends read a chapter of your book every single time you change a single word, constantly harass everyone you know to buy your book, write you good reviews and generally be your biggest fans. Sound familiar? Yes, we writers owe the ones we love a great deal indeed!

7. Understanding that stealing is OK

Writers are influenced by other writers and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we blatantly nick that very good idea/ character trait/ phrase from someone else.

8. The joy of finding the right words

When you get something just right it makes your heart soar. Being a writer is a rollercoaster ride, but the high's - they make it all worthwhile.

9. That deep breath before you start

You’ve opened your laptop, you’ve put a cushion behind your back, you’ve made a vat of coffee big enough to keep you awake for three days. You take a deep breath and begin.

10. That notebook/ napkin/ text message

Our houses are littered with notebooks that, if someone else read would make them question our sanity, our bags are full of scribbled on napkins that we can hardly make out, our phones are jammed up with weird, middle of the night text messages to ourselves that barely make sense. When the ideas come - no matter when or where, we must capture them!

Being a writer is a weird an excellent job! What else do only writers know?!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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