C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Top Ten: Some things no one tells you about writing

1. Nobody cares about your book at first, even if you think they should. Even if you think they care about you, they’re indifferent. It’s maddening. For you, each book is a magical dream made real. For them, “Nice hobby, but so what?” 

2. Since typing looks a lot like writing to the casual observer, you don’t get extra respect for being a writer from a lot of people. Anybody can type, so don’t think you’re special. “Who do you think you are, anyway? You think you’re better than me?” Oh, they won’t really say that. That’s silly. But some may as well say that by the way they’ll treat you.

3. A lot of people can read, but don’t. They care even less than the casual observers in Items #1 and #2. I don’t understand these people. Why live? It’s a mystery.

4. Some people do read, but they’re jealous of those who write. Read any one-star review that seethes with the venom usually reserved for a pedophile’s first night in prison or a family reunion. Yeah. Those people.

5. You and your family will make sacrifices for Art. Your kids’ friends will be able to afford nice vacations, cool stuff and the latest technology. Your kids won’t get that stuff, though they will get an in-house example of someone daring to follow their dream and buck conventional expectations. At least cover the basics somehow: food, shelter, clothing and good minds.

6. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, pursuing the arts is a great way to disappoint your parents. Don’t expect them to understand. That’s presumptuous and unfair to them since they (probably) love you. It’s not that they don’t want you to succeed as a writer. They want you to take that accounting job because they don’t want to see you suffer. They don’t understand that the safe job they want you to take will hurt you in ways that last, too.

7. The first book that consumes your energy and attention which you poured your heart into? Odds are, first attempts aren’t that great. But no matter how many books you write and no matter how big you get, someone will say you can’t write. In fact, the bigger you are, the more negative messages you’ll get. (If so, congratulations! You’re reaching a wider audience.) That cost-benefit analysis works in your favor, but at some point you might still consider antidepressants, booze or illegal substances or too many brownies. Avoid self-medicating. Write more instead.

8. Sometimes betrayal arrives from unexpected sources within your circle of friends or family. This will hurt most and saps your creative energies. These incidents often lead to divorce or more heated arguments at family reunions. The alternative is you’ll quit and hate yourself because you are no longer being you. Anyone who forces you to choose between them and your passion is gangrenous. Amputate.

Another thing I learned just today:

If you’re being a dick, that doesn’t mean I’m thin-skinned.

9. Writing is harder than it looks, especially before you start. It’s more fun than it looks after you start. Begin.

10. Somehow, at least some readers will find you. You probably won’t even know what you did right, exactly. But there will be readers and even fans. Super-uber-robo fans that so get you, so love your work? Well…you’ll wish those negative friends and family understood you as well as these strangers. Don’t sweat it. You’re making new friends through your fiction.

Treasure your readers. Love them. Inspire them. Nurture them. Entertain. Make them laugh and cry and hit them with love and surprises. 

When you succeed, make sure everyone who tried to put you down on your way up finds out. You’ll care less about how they hurt you by then, of course, but not so little that your vengeance won’t be delicious.

~ I am Robert Chazz Chute. I write about funny hit men, autistic teens and humans versus zombies versus vampires. But mostly I write about the caprice of vengeful gods. I create gods in my own image.

Filed under: getting it done, publishing, Rant, readers, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Responses

  1. […] Top Ten: Some things no one tells you about writing. […]

  2. Love it! Number 4 is my favorite

  3. Phil Taylor says:

    Robert Chazz Chute, I’ve been reading your blog on and off for awhile. I really liked this post. So much so that I’m going to buy one of your books. I don’t know when I’ll get to read it, but when I do I’ll leave an honest review.

  4. Reblogged this on Armand Rosamilia and commented:
    Another reason I read this blog on a daily basis

  5. Reblogged this on John R. Phythyon, Jr., Author and commented:
    This is absolutely spot-on and applies to more than writing.

  6. debb323 says:

    Whoa ! I knew writing was tough, just never knew how much. Thank you for writing , don’t ever stop 🙂

  7. I’ve read many of your blog posts over the past few months (often thanks to Armand Rosamilia re-blogging them) and this one, like so many others, is excellent. No idea why I haven’t followed your blog before. I’ve remedied that situation now.

  8. Therin Knite says:

    Great post. Some of these I haven’t experienced yet. Some I have. Thanks for letting me know what’s coming.

  9. acflory says:

    No. 6 really rang a bell with me. Great post. 🙂

  10. Mark Tufo says:

    Thank you for the blog, more than one resonated with me. I would like to add one more if I could! This is for the hundreds of prospective writers who have contacted me…This is NOT a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme! If you do think that then you must have been one of those three people that bought my book in those first seven months. Which in turn means we are related!

  11. Jesse says:

    Thanks for the great article. I also landed here through Armand Rosamilia reblogging this.
    #3 is true for me. I have a few friends who don’t understand why I enjoy reading and writing. It’s sad that they are missing out on the beautiful world of creativity.

  12. Gale Martin says:

    You said a lot of things I’ve felt but never blogged about. Honestly the reactions of some friends and family have baffled me. Great post!

  13. Elizabeth Brown says:

    I have no writer friends, only my sister (thankfully she is a novelist and invaluable with feedback). But I’m sure she gets sick of me (never says it though). My posts on Facebook, LinkedIn etc., mostly related to writing, only get a few likes. I post my short stories and links to new publications, and I get a few likes. I doubt anyone actually reads my stories. I post updates on my novel, progress etc. Nothing. sigh. My blog–tumbleweeds. Please visit me and say hi. : )

  14. I think the key is to keep writing…it’s the best revenge! Afterall, you can kill off all those haters in a novel!

  15. Reblogged this on crystalcpublishing and commented:
    Chazz is a great source of inspiration to struggling authors everywhere. This blog is an example of why you need to follow him. I think there are more than ten things no one tells you about writing, but these are key to start with.

  16. […] via Top Ten: Some things no one tells you about writing | C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m. […]

  17. […] with pens: The Real Reason Why You Can’t Write by Esther Litchfield-Fink From chazzwrites.com: Top Ten: Some things no one tells you about writing (#4 is my favourit.) From Writer unBoxed: How to Uncage Your Inner Writer? Ask Your Inner […]

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