The Perks of Being a Writer

Man Writing

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?

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42 thoughts on “The Perks of Being a Writer

  1. Great post. For me, writing is the only pursuit I have found that negates time. The rest of the time I feel tethered to the all all-encompassing 24 hours in a day, enslaved by them. When I am writing, they disappear. Only then do I fully exist.

  2. “The author experiences a sense of accomplishment when the theme makes for a lively discussion, the book is selected for review by a book club, readers experience a shift in understanding of life’s trajectory, the public consciousness is altered and the topic resonates globally in many cultures.” Judith Land

  3. I loved every word of it. To me writing is creating a world that no one else but me knows about, like a secret that I share with the characters in my book or story. When I write I usually don’t know how it continues, which excites me. I do have writer’s block sometimes, and, well, I laughed at your comment about it being a fancy word for being lazy, but I really sit in front of my screen sometimes, and I literally can’t write. My head seems empty, my thoughts taken away, I am just clueless. And I try everything to change it: talk a walk, write on paper, clean the house, watch a movie. Nothing helps. But eventually I get back up, and everything works like it used to. Again, great post.

    1. Have you tried noting down ideas? It’s a good cure for writer’s block I think. Though it may create a different kind of problem… too many ideas, which is just as worse.

  4. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I could chalk up my occasional bouts of “mental restlessness” to writing droughts or dry spells, so I can totally relate to that. Frustrating as it can sometimes be, though, it always seems worth it in the long run. Nice post!

  5. Great Post. I have been struggling a little bit lately with the purpose of my writing. Sometimes I confuse myself, when really I should just continue to sit down and pour my thoughts on a page. Thanks for your inspiration!

  6. I loved this, particularly the last line, and I agree in ever sense. For me, writing has always been a remedy; something to keep the great sadness at may.

    I found you by googling “creative writing blogs”. I recently moved from New Mexico to Arizona. NM had a large and vibrant community of writers, where my creativity was innovative because of the constant inspiration. In Arizona, I feel starved for it. I thought I would turn to blogs to fill the void. Glad I ran across yours.

  7. True, true, true and true! I love this part, “Finally, it’s the suspension of judgement.” I guess we all start a little selfish and inward but if we want to mature as a writer, we need to get out of our comfort zones and really learn to love different kinds of people. Great post. So simply put but did not sound simplified. 😀

  8. Vincent, Vincent, Vincent!
    Believe it or not, writing allures me for the same reasons as it does you. But I know I could never express myself like that.
    I have discovered that when I’m feeling low or when I’m in a high temper, writing cools me down. It makes me focus on the ‘why’ and the ‘so’ instead of the ‘because of’… It, like you put it, steadies me.
    ‘The beauty of words’, ‘the suspension of judgement’ – I’m saying “YES!” to all of it.

    Your writing, as this post suddenly showed me, is effortless. What you write seems easy to write but in reality is very hard. I don’t know about you but if I decided to sit down and think about why I should write, I don’t know if all important reasons (these!) would come to me as plainly as they came to you. And so, I congratulate you.
    This post, I’ve saved to remind me why I chose to write and why I should continue writing. Thank you. 🙂

  9. You hit the nail on the head or rather you were all in my head with this post. In regards to “writer’s block”, I discovered two years ago when I started participating in the “Write a Novel in 30 days” challenges, that the block is indeed non-existent. Lastly, not writing at all does steal your concentration on other things or in other words makes you feel crazy. “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” -Franz Kafka

  10. my friend, you speak the truth. But another very important point if not the most important point is that women are in many ways attracted towards a writer. We are so much adorable to them.

  11. “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.” beautiful.

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