Are you ready for the ride?

Career fiction writers must be aware of what the successful writing life is like.

Disillusionment will derail you. Since my heart is set on a career in writing books, I want to know what that could look like. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Many of us newbies focus  all of our attention on getting that first novel published. That’s it. That’s all we can see. If we can just get accepted, then we have arrived. Nope. The journey is just beginning.

In this week’s chapter, Bell gives us a glimpse into the emotional upheaval of a writer’s life. His friend, Terri Blackstock likened the writing life to a roller coaster. The ride takes you soaring to great heights, and then plummeting to the lowest depths. Over and over again. My life already resembles a roller coaster ride. I can’t imagine the anxiety I will have as I sit in anticipation of publication or the stress of a revision letter. But it passes. I wonder if it has more to do with how we handle anxiety and stress in our lives already and if so, we could work toward lessening the impact. Right?

So what say you? Do you agree or disagree?


6 thoughts on “Are you ready for the ride?

  1. Kessie says:

    The more I read about the writer’s life, the more I realize that it’s just a job. All jobs come with unique stresses and successes. You plug away at them every day, and some days it’s great, and others it’s not so great. But people tend to approach writing like some get rich quick scheme, thinking they’ll make it big their first time out.

    Jobs aren’t like that. They’re a daily grind, and if you do get rich, it’ll be slowly.

  2. J. L. Mbewe says:

    Good point. In the beginning I had unreal expectations of the writing process and hadn’t realized how long it takes to break into print. I think looking at it like any other job can help us to approach the process in a professional manner and not become so…emotionally involved. 🙂

  3. Aaron DeMott says:

    That’s the first thought I had when reading this post (come on Amazon, how long’s it gonna take to get one book in…), “sounds like any other job” good days, bad days, etc.

    The difference would be that I’d be doing something I loved, and that makes the bad parts more bearable. Also, the self-employed aspects too. I used to work as a computer systems admin, and I loved that too, but my boss didn’t like me, for reasons not apparent to me or my co-workers.. At least if I’m my own boss, I hopefully have a good one! 😉

  4. C. Garrett says:

    When I think about actually being a full-time writer, I flip-flop back and forth about just what it would be like. At the moment–I think I said this before–I don’t believe I would be happy being a 100% full-time writer. Why not? Oh, I think I could probably get used to it, but I also recognize that there are certain moments of intellectual or professional satisfaction I get from my “day” job that I probably wouldn’t get from just sitting in a dark room writing. Not to mention it’s an uncertain type of career. I’ve already seen that movie, and I decided I was much happier getting a regular paycheck and health insurance.


    While the chances are none of us will ever get rich from our books, you never know do you? Admit it, all of us think of the possibility that our book turns out to be the next big thing. It could happen! It has happened! And I know with 100% certainty that I won’t ever get rich at my job, no matter how professionally satisfying it is. Writing a book opens up the door just a little bit.

    Doesn’t change the fact that it takes words, lots and lots of words, put down steadily and methodically, to actually write the book. And some days it does sound tempting to have the freedom of time to just sit down and type…

  5. J. L. Mbewe says:

    I have to admit that I would love to be the next J.K. Rowling. Ha! But I have heard people, I can’t remember who, and read a magazine article or something that mentioned not giving up a person’s “day job”. Not because his or her writing sucked, but that we learn so much from our experiences that we can utilize them in our writing .Perhaps it helps us stay connected with the “real” world. Still, I’ll dream and write LOTS of words and just maybe…just maybe I could do that for the rest of my life as well all the other cool things my husband has plans for our family. I think I could stay connected…though…I think creative people tend to be a little…disconnected. Maybe?

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