First, read this:
OK, let me say this once and get it off my chest and never mention it again. I have had it with writers who talk about how painful and harrowing and exhausting and ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE it is for them to put words on paper and how they pace a hole in the carpet, anguish writ large on their marshmallow faces, and feel lucky to have written an entire sentence or two by the end of the day.
It’s the purest form of arrogance: Lest you don’t notice what a brilliant artist I am, let me tell you how I agonize over my work. To which I say: Get a job. Try teaching eighth-grade English, five classes a day, 35 kids in a class, from September to June, and then tell us about suffering.
The fact of the matter is that the people who struggle most with writing are drunks. They get hammered at night and in the morning their heads are full of pain and adverbs. Writing is hard for them, but so would golf be, or planting alfalfa, or assembling parts in a factory.
Then, read this:
From John Scalzi’s Utterly Useless Writing Advice:
5. Okay, we got it — writing professionally is endless pain and suffering.
Well, no. Sorry to sound so strident. Writing professionally, even at its worst, still beats the hell out of lifting heavy objects off the back of a loading dock for $10 an hour. Let’s not kid ourselves, here: It’s not a hard life, relative to what other people have to do. This is no doubt part of the reason so many people want to be professional writers.
7. What if I send something out and it gets rejected?
What do you mean “if”?
And there’s this, about Scalzi’s new book:
You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing
Yes, it’s long. So what. I like it. Although I do like the runner-up, too: “Sailing the Ramen Seas: Notes on the Writing Life.” If Bill thinks the first title is too much, I’ll fall back on the ramen. Which really is a writer thing to do, is it not.
You may like the chapter titles as well:
1. Writing Advice, or, Avoiding Real Work the John Scalzi Way
2. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Writer’s Life For Me
3. The Schadenfreude Needle is Buried Deep Into the Red: On Writers
4. Science Fiction, or, Don’t Skip This Chapter, You Goddamned Writing Snobs
So there you go, equipped with pretty much everything you need to write, whine, whine about writing or write about whining. Enjoy.