In the cold reality of things, what we perceive in one way usually results in disappointment.
This applies to writers, and the way they’re portrayed by mass media, and art itself. In movies, books – in most and any medium of art, writers are often portrayed in a bittersweet manner. They don’t have enough money to eat, they’ve lost the love of their life, they’re renting a room in a down-and-out hotel, but they’re working towards their epic; their work that will be celebrated after their death, the work that will be turned into a Hollywood movie, a television series, an audiobook – their saving grace, both financially, and psychologically. This may be true for a select few cases, but in the wider spectrum, writers do not adhere to this portrayal. It is completely, and utterly different.
In reality, a writer often struggles to find time to write, for only a select amount of writers can substantially live from the gains of their book. Instead, in contrast to popular opinion, they are subscribed to a 9-5 (or something extremely similar) in order to live; in order to write. They don’t fumble around the gardens of the house everyday ‘looking for inspiration’ on their next New York Times Bestseller. They’re removing unmovable amounts of cheese from the bottom of the grill at the local fast food restaurant, they’re creating spreadsheets for the daily office meeting at 9am, and they’re selling used cars for prices for more than they’re truly worth. Writers are commonplace people.
Writers are people that stop and start. End and begin. Begin and end. The clichéd yet true crippling self doubt is a factor that most writers stumble upon at the first hurdle. Most give up before they’ve even begun. The doubt doesn’t miraculously leave once writing your first collection, or first book. It is something that builds, and builds, and builds up, until it forces you to spiral downwards. This isn’t unique or attractive; it is just a part of the wave that has to be ridden. After and only after this, is when writers may find a moment of solace. For this reason, a writer is in some regards, a sadist.
A writer is a person who carries another world inside their head. A writer is a person who has to defend their work from the arguments of themselves on a continual basis. A writer is a person who has to defend their work from the arguments of others, even more so than the arguments of themselves. A writer is a person who isn’t just a writer; they are also an editor, a publisher, a mathematician, a philosopher, a businessperson, a mother/father, a son/daughter, an auntie/uncle, a cousin, a beloved, a worker, a grafter, a drifter, a worshipper, a believer, a liar, an afterthought. A person has to play all these roles with upmost desire to become one and only thing; a writer.