by Peggy Bechko
Do ya? Do ya?
Or maybe you’re a writer already but things are going just the way you’d like and you’re having a crisis of faith in your decision to write and be a writer.
It happens. I suspect to all of us. At some point we break down, throw our hands in the air and question … well, everything!
It’s what can happen, and almost inevitably does happen, when we writers come face to face with the realization of what we really need to do to succeed. It’s not just the writing. We can have complete confidence in our abilities to write, to create stories, to deliver them to producers or editors on time (well, most of us can – the on time thing can get tricky in a world of distractions, illness, injury and all that).
It’s a tough thing to admit to yourself, and if you write for blogs, to the faithful readers who follow you.
It’s a tough row to hoe, using the old cliché, working with people who are judging your work, making yourself available for publicity, creating the damn story to begin with!
Then being willing to alter it perhaps nearly beyond recognition of what you initially intended. And all of that AFTER you actually find someone whether agent, editor, publisher, producer, who backs your project and creates the arena in which it might move forward.
Few of us are quitters or we wouldn’t be insane enough to be in this business to begin with. And I must note that perhaps the quitters are the ones who are sane. But that’s another article for another time.
It’s often claimed that film is a collaborative endeavor. Well, so is writing and publishing a novel. Most writing is, in some form collaborative, so control isn’t always (or hardly ever) in your hands (unless you want to go the indy route in film or books and that’s another whole discussion as well).
There are days when we writers feel helpless, frustrated, blockaded. It’s like nothing will move forward. No one has interest. And yet, writers write. It’s what we (they all) do. Giving up is not an option. Neither is breaking down.
Quitting altogether is – and I advise it if you don’t feel this is the most important thing in the world, this writing that you MUST do. Choose another direction. Find something else you’re passionate about.
If you truly, deeply consider it and you can’t stop, then you’re a true, unabashed writer and you can no more stop writing than you can stop breathing.
If writing is your passion. If creating stories is what you live for, then face that stone wall and move forward. Move forward against a stone wall I say? How, you say. You ignore the impossibly high odds. You accept what being a writer means and you don’t give up. It’s all about you against you and your passion will sustain you if writing is what you truly want to do.
Writers write to make people feel something. Horror, laughter, fear, wonder…something. That said, the writer feels during the process of writing as well. I remember writing a short story with tears streaming down my cheeks.
The story became an award-winner. I remember writing a script in which scenes made me smile and chuckle as my fingers flew over the keyboard. It was optioned. Accept those feelings that go with being a writer. Confront the walls that impede you.
And despite the stone wall, keep in mind there are others who reach back a hand to help. Others who’ve walked your path, understand, and are pleased to try to make your path just a little easier. As actor Kevin Spacey says, “If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.”
Remember that when you get to where you want to go.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page