Writing, the toughest job you'll ever love

Okay, I know I stole the title from that old Peace Corp commercial, but I thought it appropriate.

Webster defines the word author as: one that originates or creates, which is a pretty generic description. I know a lot of authors, some published, some not, and to define them as "one that creates" seems a little nondescript. The women that I know, who write, spill their blood on every page. They can spend thousands of hours, creating a new world and every single thing that lives inside it. A new race of people, a new language, new rules that make an age-old paranormal creature new and exciting again.

It all starts out with an idea. An idea that comes from out of nowhere. One day, you're driving in your car and a crazy woman driving faster than her beat up old Toyota appears to be capable of going, cuts you off. After you swear at her in multiple languages and give her an obscene gesture the thought runs through your mind that she just might be chasing after that idiot in the Hummer who tried to kill you just moments earlier. Maybe the idiot in the Hummer has stolen her prize Chihuahua and she has only minutes to get to the poor beast before she'll collapse from not having her seizure medication. And so it begins. The hours and days of researching Chihuahuas and endless hours talking with vets. Do Chihuahuas really have seizures? What would cause such a thing? Is there a cure? Can a Chihuahua have epilepsy?

We pour hours of our heart, soul and anything else we can possible put into the mix into this woman with the crazy Chihuahua fetish. We discover things about her and her life, that honestly, we didn't need to know. We learn so much about being a veterinarian and what kind of person would truly kidnap a dog that we dream about it. A lot. We keeps pads of paper and pens by the side of our bed, on the off chance that something brilliant comes to us in sleep. We do all of this, so that we can tell the crazy woman's story with a little bit of realism. So that the readers that we one day hope to have, get a true sense of her fear, her love for her animal and the understanding of just how much the anti-depressants really do help.

We go through all of this, so that we can submit to an agent/publisher/CP who will say. . . insert negative comment here.

Why do we do it? Why do we subject ourselves and our talent to this kind of criticism? Why can't we just write for ourselves and be happy with it? Be happy with knowing that we did the best that we could? Because we want the world to love it as much as we do. It's an illness really.

Why do you write?


  1. I write because I have no choice. Seriously, with all the ideas and characters living in my head, if I didn't get them down on paper and shut them up, I'd probably be clinically insane by now.

  2. I think that pretty much sums it up for me too.

  3. This is great, Erika. And when are you going to write the story of the woman, the chihuahua, and the mysterious Hummer driver? Hilarious -and the antidepressents - the icing on the cake.

    I write because of the voices in my head. Hey, Captain, want to room together in the asylum?

  4. Janet, we can definitely room together. You'll be far better than my last roommate.

    *shudders at the memories*

    Rereading your post, Erika, reminded me of a time at the mall with a friend of mine. We saw an old Caddy with about 7 or 8 chains hanging from the bottom of it.

    My friend was all like, "Why on earth would someone ruin a perfectly good car doing that?"

    Me? I say, "That would be an awesome way to transport a dead body."

  5. I tried explaining to a non-writing friend of mine about the voices in my head. I'm pretty sure she's trying to have me commited. Some people just don't get it. You'll save room for me at the asylum right?

  6. Hmmm. Maybe I'll have to try to write a short (very short) story on the woman and the chihauhua. Something to think on.

  7. Wait? You mean those voices I hear are only in my head? But...but...that's the most intellectual conversation I get in a day.

    Not write? Wow...I can't even fanthom what that would be like...*shudder*

  8. This is the best post ever Erika ! I'm going to steal it and put it up on my blog !!!