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Writers — who are we?

May 16, 2012

We are writers. That’s what we call ourselves. But what does that mean? It means that each day we wake up, get to our computers and we throw words onto the screen, spinning them into stories. We tell ourselves we’ll stay at the writing, but life tends to interrupt. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Kids. Aging parents.

Then we go back to writing. Sometimes that day. Sometimes not for weeks. We blame ourselves. After all, we’re committed to writing our novels, getting them finished. We tell ourselves we’ll do better tomorrow.

We plug away, and push and pull at words, fret and fume, revise what we’ve written, tell ourselves what we’ve written is horrific, then the next day, tell ourselves it isn’t so bad. Will anyone read this? Buy this? Like it? We are our own proverbial worst critics and enemies.

No matter. We keep writing, hoping to make sense of the novel we’ve plotted. The story line and characters shift beneath us like literary Jell-o © as we try to gain stability and footing. We want a paragraph, a page, a chapter to gel, to be solid. We also want the story to flow, a paradox, a structured tale that propels the reader forward.   

When we are away from our computers and desks, we appear not to be writing. But we are. Usually the quiet ones, we observe life as we go about our day. We listen. We are sponges soaking up experiences so we can get back to the computer and stitch them into the fabrics of our stories.

As we press on toward those wonderful two wordsThe End – we realize it’s not. It’s only the beginning. After we write our first draft, we rewrite, we edit, we revise even more. Then we pitch to agents, hoping to find representation, praying to be published.

In the end, our writing is a labor of love and more. It is the ultimate giving of ourselves. In our deepest hearts, we offer up our words so that so that we may be read. In truth, we yearn to be read. We want readers to root for our characters, baffle readers with a mystery, creep into their hearts, move them to tears. We want to offer them an experience they will remember and have no other place except in the pages we’ve written.

Everyone says they want to write a book. But few do. Fewer still can write a really good book. We strive to do that. It may take years to create a story that will be sold, read and savored. Or to write a story that may never see print. Some ask why? Why go through all this for so little?

Ah. But it is not so little. It is everything. Writing is our gift. It is our blessing to others and our intimate connection with them. We would have it no other way.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. EL Kamins permalink
    May 16, 2012 6:50 AM

    Thank you for so eloquently putting into words what I feel every day.

    • Marielena Zuniga permalink
      May 16, 2012 8:27 AM

      Thanks so much for your comments and stopping by! I’m so happy I could write about our common bond and struggles as writers!

  2. May 16, 2012 6:51 AM

    great article! When I was very young I used to want to be a writer. But I found for me writing was like golf…it seemed impossible to get that little ball in the little hole and it took too long….patience is the key!

  3. Marielena Zuniga permalink
    May 16, 2012 8:29 AM

    How wonderful to see your reply, Kathy, and to hear from you! Writing indeed takes patience — and persistence.

  4. May 19, 2012 7:01 AM

    Beautiful post, Marielena. It helps to know I’m not alone in my struggles – or my little triumphs (which, as you so wisely pointed out, are not small at all).

    • Marielena Zuniga permalink
      May 19, 2012 7:44 AM

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Sandy!

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