Seriously though, I have the freaking coolest friends.
(Excerpt found here remains completely the sole rights of Clarissa Johal.)
“What’s it like, being a writer?
I seem to be asked that a lot. Well folks, it’s a lot of signing autographs and hearing readers tell you how awesome you are. It’s receiving huge royalty checks from publishers who deem you indispensable. It’s full of massive amounts of glitz and glam and feeling loved 24/7…
Actually, that’s crap. Let’s get real—what’s it really like to be writer?
It means you wake up with, shower, dine and go to bed with your characters. It gets a little crowded from time-to-time.
It means taking nothing personal when it comes to editing and everything personal when it comes to reviews.
It means your mind is constantly writing sentences—even when you’re sleeping. I’ve woken with full paragraphs in my head. Sleep is for the weak.
It means working longer hours than 99% of the population and for less than minimum wage…and being okay with that.
It means the Writing Chair is yours, and yours alone. Because writing somewhere else doesn’t feel the same—just don’t talk to me. And get the hell out of my Chair.
It means struggling with a constant feeling of inadequacy.
It means you carry a constant paranoia that people will read (unfinished) work over your shoulder vs. the same paranoia they won’t read your (finished) work at all.
It’s a constant pull between Doing What You Love (writing) and Feeling Like an Obnoxious Brat (promoting)
It means hoping people understand that you’re a little quirky but mostly harmless.
It means when people hear you talking to yourself, you’re really not. Your characters are real people, duh.
I love being a writer. I eat, sleep and breathe my characters and stories. I write—not with the goal of “being rich someday,” but with the goal that my readers will look forward to my next book an love the last one they read. When a reader says one of my books “stuck with them” and was “unlike any story they’ve read” it gives me a high that lasts for weeks. On the days I’m struggling and wonder if my stories matter to anyone other than myself, a comment like that will bring tears to my eyes. And I know deep in my heart that if I didn’t write, I’d go cuckoo.
“That’s what being a writer is like.”
I am planning on introducing all my amazing friends in the next few weeks…cause, they amaze me with their creative talent, and I want to be just like them when I grow up.