Of Writers and Prose: The Lure of the Author Dream
May 2, 2016 Leave a comment
I never wanted to be a writer. There. I said it. I’m not one of those people who knew from an early age that she wanted to write, or would spend hours making up stories. The writing ‘bug’ never bit me, and I wasn’t inspired to write because of a book. For me, it was something that slowly evolved over the course of several decades. Does that mean I have less passion than someone who instinctively knew they wanted to be a writer? No, but I don’t spend hours of my day dreaming of a fantasy life where I’m scribbling down notes in a small café with my fountain pen while watching the world go by, or dream of book signings with a lineup a mile long. I’m not an introvert, but a scene like that would intimidate the hell outta me. I choke trying to think of something to write on a birthday card.
Over the last decade, I’ve seen a lot of changes take place in the writing industry, mainly the amount of people who have discovered this wonderful creative outlet. I’ve said it numerous times (as have many others), that it’s a great time to be a writer. The problem is, so many of those writers have thrown in the towel. Why? Well, maybe because it’s not as easy as they perceived.
Key word here – perceived. It’s an insidious little word. It holds the dreams of so many, only to kick us when we’re down.
It’s this conceived notion that drives writers to the brink. They compare their careers to others, jump from one genre to the next in hopes of finding that ‘sweet spot’ that propelled so many others to stardom. Most forget the reason they started writing; focusing more on the money than on the craft and when their rewards don’t match their fantasies, they entertain the notion that it isn’t worth it and leave. Their perceived dreams of being an author smashed against the rocky coast of reality. The shame of it is, they steered themselves into oblivion.
I noticed this last year at a small conference I attended. I wanted to learn more about writing a certain genre; instead I was inundated with the amount of money the panellists were making. As it turns out, this year they went as far as to mention it will be part of the discussion. Guess I’m not attending that seminar. I’m not saying that making money from writing is a bad thing, but it can be when it becomes the only thing that motivates a writing career.
I’ve stepped back from the madness as have many other authors I know. We rest against the sandy shoreline and watch others as the dash upon the rocks. Some survive, are wiser for it. They sit with us and watch, hoping to save another promising author from succumbing to the weight of their own perceived author lure, because in the end, we’re not writers, we’re storytellers and if we disappear who will replace us?