Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Writing Blog-o-Sphere

Dear Writing Blog-o-Sphere,

I think we have a problem.

It's not the kind of problem that's immediately apparent. I mean, 99% of your posts are positive and inspiring and interesting. It's the kind of problem that lurks beneath the words of those fantastic posts. See, the thing is, you have unrealistic expectations.

But it's not your fault. Not really.

The problem lies in speed and time. Naturally, if someone's writing days are going well, they're going to celebrate that success on the internet. They'll tell us all about how they drafted the book in a month and then edited it in two weeks. They'll talk about their deadlines and how they wrote two books last year and how driven they are.

On the other hand, drafting and editing nightmares are never discussed. For good reason, of course. On the off chance an agent visits their blog, well, no one wants to make a bad impression with all that whining.

But where does that put the writer who has been struggling with drafting or editing? Maybe they've been working on their book for years now . . . and with the state of the blog-o-sphere, there's a good chance that they feel alone in that.

It's not true of course. There really are people who work 40+ hours and can only write 2000 words a week. There are people who have needed to completely re-write their books, so the newest draft is only a shadow of the last one. There are people who've spent countless hours writing "useless" content and they're book are still not done.

Finishing is important. I can't deny that. And I'm definitely not dissing on the struggles that have been mentioned on the internet. But do we have to stress on success so much? Can't we somehow embrace the idea that it's okay to work on a book for more than a year? That writing is hard? That's okay to write 5+ books and still be struggling to get an agent or a book deal? That speed isn't everything?

I feel like I might be blowing this out of proportion . . . but I've seen people discouraged because they think they're wasting time and because they can't write something beautiful in six months. And that shouldn't be acceptable.

Thanks for hearing me out,