It’s A Science Not Magic

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I hate to be the breaker of bad news but writing is hard.

No seriously, it’s a lot of work. And it get’s frustrating at time and there are moments you will find yourself pounding your head against a hard surface or excessively drinking coffee in hopes the caffeine can evolve into creativity.

It’s not like the movies where you see some underdog who is secretly so talented that everything they write is gold and everyone just falls in love with the first draft- it’s more like painstakingly plotting, preparing, and researching before you even get a word down and then when you do start the story, you’re constantly digging for your dictionary in search of the just the right word because for some reason your brain can’t even remember if a word even exists for the feeling of wanting to give up and set fire to your office just to watch your current WIP burn to ashes…

Exasperation. Yeah, that’s the word. Thanks Merriam-Webster.

By the way, that’s just the beginning- we haven’t even got into editing or marketing and all that stuff in between.

I’m not here to discourage you. Just the opposite. But what I’m learning through this whole process is that if you want to make your dreams happen you got to work for it. There is no magic word, hocus pocus and now I’m successful. There is no fairy dust to sprinkle on the pages that turns your ideas into beautifully written prose. It’s all you. Your hard work. Your time. Your energy. Everything is you pouring yourself out even in times you would rather be doing something else and the thought of words themselves disgust you.

See, most of the time (like 95% of the time) success isn’t just going to fall into your lap.
Yes, there are a few stories of some people who just literally get out of bed and somehow the world is at their feet but let’s be honest, you are more likely to get struck by lightening. Think of success as a living thing. It’s something you have to chase around, capture, and hold on to. You gotta be smart about it, be careful and yet be willing to take necessary risks in order to achieve.

I say it again; it’s a lot of hard work.

But I need this.

I was nine when I read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and I’ve pretty much re-read it nearly once a year for a long time afterwards. At that point is when I wanted to write pirate stories. When I was twelve I got into mystery stories and loved creating my own. When I was fourteen I wrote a play for our local church and preformed it, which turned out to be a success. I did it again when I was sixteen. And for many years I continued to write and read, read and write.

Some of my happiest memories are from when I was writing. It has been such a big part of my life. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get to this place and I suspect there will be many more I’ll have to make to advance.

But here’s the gritty, gory truth- you will never get anything in life hoping for some magical Hallmark experience. When I succeed I will know it’s because I put my hand to the plow, through blood, sweat, and tears I made it happen.

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Take the risk, make the sacrifices. I can’t promises success. In fact, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe all this will be for nothing. But in the end this is my dream becoming reality. The goal I’m reaching for.

What’s yours?


Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well

Robert Louis Stevenson

4 thoughts on “It’s A Science Not Magic

    1. I never say I don’t enjoy it. But I do emphasize the amount of work that goes into it. If you read some of my previous posts I state this. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. I do love it, but I want people coming into this to know what they’re getting into

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      1. Sorry – I didn’t mean ‘you’ as in YOU. You do make it clear you enjoy writing.
        I was using it more generically (one feels such a nob when one writes ‘If one’s not enjoying it…” doesn’t one.)

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