You don’t have to be selfish to be a writer

writing life

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/simplybike/ licensed under Creative Commons

 

Writing is a selfish act. Writers lock themselves away, often for long periods of time, day after day while you live other people’s lives. Even when they are with loved ones, their thoughts are often elsewhere. Writers can very easily stop participating in life and instead become an observer, separating themselves from others to better capture the big picture, or the tiniest, most pertinent detail.

It takes writers a long time to write a book, hundreds of hours of solid effort to craft and shape their story so that it comes close to the image in their mind. For writers of a series, those hundreds of hours can turn into thousands of hours, often spread over many years, if not decades, of time. Most writers, even traditionally published writers, have jobs on top of their writing, so their writing time battles with time spent with loved ones, friends, or pursuing hobbies they may enjoy. The struggle between the need to create and the need to have a life is one all writers understand all too well.

Then there is the time needed for promotion. Blogging, social media, managing adverts, sending out review requests, taking part in interviews; the list goes on and on, all eating into that precious commodity, a writer’s time.

It’s no wonder people see writers as selfish people.

But it’s been my experience that writers can be the most giving, considerate and empathetic of people.

Writers understand more than anyone how tough writing can be and love to support other writers, whether that is to provide helpful tips, to beta read or critique the work of their peers, or to simply provide encouragement when a fellow writer is feeling low.

Writers are also readers. The most amazing thing about writers is that most don’t see other writers as competitors, but as brothers-in-arms. Clever writers think nothing of promoting books we’ve read and loved by our fellow authors, because they know that promoting good books helps all writers, not just the author in question.

Great writers celebrate the successes of other writers because they know just how much work has gone into creating that success.

Just because writing is a selfish task, it doesn’t mean writers have to be selfish people. What kind of writer do you want to be?

 

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