Illusions Writers Face (Part Two)

Posted in Blogosphere, Thinking Critically, Writing on  | 6 minutes | 9 Comments →

In Part One we left off with the idea that there are many illusions a writer might face throughout various stages of his or her career. I discussed a few areas in which I believe I achieved some introductory success as a writer, and not to embellish those achievements. The point was to establish a small amount of success to show that even a small amount of success can lead to all kinds of obfuscations and illusions for a writer.

So you got a book deal and you're in Barnes & Noble? Produced some television? Saw your name on the big screen, maybe? Perhaps the most painful illusion related to success is that success is guaranteed to recur. It's not. Another major illusion is the idea that success will never happen at all. Keep plugging away. Another illusion is that success is guaranteed to happen in a certain way, or in the way we expect, or the same way as before, and it's quite easy to get discouraged because what one defines as "success" comes too slowly or with too much effort. Think outside the box. Although hard work tends to pay off in general, success is not something the writer can always predictably control. Paradoxically, the only guarantee with success as a writer is that there are no guarantees with success in writing!

Read More →

Illusions Writers Face

Posted in Writing on  | 7 minutes | No Comments →

*This is the first installment of a series on common illusions beginning writers might face. This first post summarizes my career as a scribe to date and serves as backstory; as such it can be skipped and if you want to get straight to the illusions, proceed to part II.

The first time I got paid for writing was in 2000. The father of this friend of mine wanted to write a letter to someone but felt he just didn't quite know what to say, so he paid me $50 to write it for him. I photocopied the money and saved it. It was a weird feeling, a confirmation of a brave idea, a dream come true, an answered prayer, a life-changing event…all these cliche's and much, much more. It was just a year or so earlier I realized I was a writer, and that meant I had an obligation to earn a living from the craft.

Read More →