Being a writer, or trying to be one, can be frustrating at times.
Usually it’s because of the writing itself – either it’s not good enough or simply not the way you’d like it to be.
At other times it’s the editors or the publishers that give you trouble.
Sometimes it’s the low pay.
From time to time it’s writer’s block. (A fancy term for laziness, if you ask me.)
On some bad days it’s all of them combined, and that’s when you feel like burning your books and papers and breaking your pencil and becoming a business person.
There are perks to being a writer, though.
First it’s the tranquillity. I feel mentally restless if I don’t write. My thoughts race and I cannot steady them, I cannot think clearly. I feel time is slipping away from me and I cannot put it to good use.
Then it’s the enlightenment that writing gives me. I was a much simpler person before I started writing. I understood less of the world around me than I do now. I didn’t know that there was beauty in suffering, or sadness in joy, or that loves comes in many varieties. Nor did I know that one’s greatest foe is not external, but internal, one’s self.
Finally, it’s the suspension of judgement. To write well you have to observe people. And once you become used to observing people you start to imagine how it feels to live in their shoes. You become more tolerant.
I think that to enjoy the perks of being a writer – as you see, they are mostly mental and spiritual ones, at least until you write a bestseller or two – it’s important to embrace writing for what it is, a delightful process that challenges your mind and tickles you heart and involves your whole being.
I try to banish thoughts of immortality and focus on the beauty of the words and their mischievous play.
I try to regard writing as an end in itself, the end of the restless apathy of sadness.
What are the perks for you?