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The Days of Anguish: being a writer

I find writing books to be quite the hardest thing I have ever done. They hang over you for months on end.
The hours I spend with my elbows on my desk clutching my hair in my fists and screwing up my eyes in frustration and despair massively outweigh the happy hours of flow that eventually make up the finished book.
My earnings from my books put me way, way below the minimum wage.
I finish days and weeks in a black mood, angry at myself and my inability to produce anything of use.
I curse the wasted time, and yet without the days of anguish I know that I am never going to produce anything of substance.

It’s the long, dark hours pounding the streets in the rain that earn you your PB in the marathon.

It was being first onto and last off the training ground that enabled Jonny to nail “that” drop goal.

It was Lance punishing his body up and down every hill he could find, riding when no one else would ride, not even his teammates, that earned him seven Tour de France titles.

It was leaving a 250,000 word manuscript on a train and having to rewrite the entire book from memory that produced the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

(And yes, I did write this post when I should have been working on the book..!)

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Comments

  1. hello, welcome back. Like the site. What book are you working on now?

    Reply
  2. As a fellow author, I feel for you. I know what it’s like – a new book has been hanging around me since the 9 months of labor pains birthing the last one. Writing books is a labor of love. And I don’t have to tell you, worth every bit of the journey. So keep going, Al, keep going. One more word, one more page, one more chapter…and then you’re there! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. fubek Posted

    > My earnings from my books put me way, way below the minimum wage.
    > I finish days and weeks in a black mood, angry at myself and my inability to produce anything of use.
    > I curse the wasted time, and yet without the days of anguish I know that I am never going to produce anything of substance.

    I’ll buy the book anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  4. Really like how you compare the slog of writing, to the slog of doing lots of other worthwhile things.

    And here’s a good quote from Hemingway!

    “In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused.”
    – Ernest Hemingway

    Reply

 
 

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