Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bring On The Pain

You’ve written a book. If you’re neurotic like me, you stress and worry over every inane detail of the book. I spent almost as much time formatting and tweaking things that no one else will probably give a damn about, just because it was aesthetically pleasing to me.

And yet here I am, about to do it all again. *sighs*

But let’s face it, we’re all drama-queens, or kings depending, and we fuss and whine over how trying this process is, and yet we do it again. Why? Because we actually enjoy it. We are entertainers and we feel that we must suffer for our art. This is true, but I think the lot of us are masochists. We enjoy the pain.

Now you can say I’m crazy but let’s discuss this…

Definition of Masochist: someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment.

So we beat ourselves senseless writing a book. We miss out on time with family and friends, time spent doing any number of other things. We agonize over the details of the story and beat ourselves up over the smallest of creative details such as delivery of dialogue or a scene not playing out right. We cause ourselves countless hours of migraines and stress and in some cases borderline panic attacks on the verge of a nervous breakdown. We suffer from self-inflicted writer’s block (sorry people, it is self-inflicted) which only makes us more stressed. We finally finish the book only to go through it with a fine tooth comb and peel out pieces of our finished product which pains us like ripping a bandaid off a wound repeatedly. This is all done to only spend even more time editing and re-writing, doing the whole process in pieces over again.

Then, depending on how you decide to publish…

Indie- you agonize all alone in your creative world, fine-tuning every detail because you feel the crazy need to prove your product is just as good as any mainstream published work. Because you have all the loudmouths that tell you that you are a failure and not a real writer because you chose to self publish…
Or you can go with traditional and you send query after query after query, only to receive some piss poor rejection letter (if you even get word back at all). And on the off chance you do get accepted, then you have to fine tune it how the publisher wants etc.

Then you’re published… whichever way you chose to go with, you did it. All that agony is worse than childbirth and lasts a hell of a lot longer…

So you’re sitting there, satisfied with yourself and smiling subtle grins to yourself every time you think about it because guess what? You’re no longer a ‘writer’ you are officially an author now. It’s done, it’s over, it’s behind you… live it up and enjoy the wonderfulness of being accomplished.

And then you get that itch… that gnawing inside of you…

And you start all over again!

So you tell me, how are you not a masochist? ;)


  1. I came here from A no. 2 Pencil, STAT! and Google warned me about adult content.

    I found that to be awesome so I'm now following your blog.

    Nice ta meet ya!

  2. I completely enjoy writing. For me, it is a great process that pulls me under and drags me along. It can take a while to finish, but I don't consider any of it to be bad.

  3. Wow Thanks Matthew! Nice to meet you too.

    Draven- I don't consider it bad either. I quite enjoy the process no matter how painful. ;)

  4. Hey Samantha,

    Congratulations on being published :) That's amazing. I am still tirelessly working towards that moment when my book hit's the shelves.

    I think you are entirely right in saying we enjoy the pain. I think it's because it makes the whole thing mean more. If it were easy, then it wouldn't matter. Because it's so damn hard, actually succeeding is that much more fulfilling.

    Great post :)

  5. Thanks Matt. I used to hate it when my boss would talk about patience and perseverance but I know without a doubt that it was exactly that which made this possible. Hang in there, I have faith! ;)