Thursday, February 4, 2010

On writing advice

I am forever reading advice to new writers that goes something like this: Treat your writing like a job.

I completely disagree.

I have a job. I show up, put in my time, get stuff done. I don't goof off. I try to treat my employer and my coworkers fairly and professionally. And it pays the bills. But you know what? I'd leave it in an instant if a good enough offer came along.

Is that really how I should look at my writing? As a bunch of motions I go through because I need the money to help feed and house my family? Or a set of outside requirements that I have to live up to?

I prefer to treat my writing like a friendship.

Any good relationship takes work, as any married person can tell you. I have to spend time writing, sometimes when there are other things I could do. I have to work hard to uphold my end of the friendship--improving my craft, sending my work out for critique, querying, pitching. But like a good friend, the writing is a whole lot of fun.

And God, do I need fun. Especially since this particular friendship isn't exactly making me any money yet.

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