The hardest part of being a writer

Do you know what’s harder than putting your all into something knowing it’s success depends entirely on other people liking this thing you’ve put blood, sweat and tears into (not always metaphorically) and that you won’t know if people are going to like it until after you’ve spent years (if only that was an exaggeration) working on it?

The people you respect not believing you can do it. That shit is the worst.

This is how it feels being a writer whose debut isn’t out into the world yet. People don’t ask how it’s going after the first year or so of writing it. They ask what you’re doing with your life, because if you’re not making money, what you’re doing is not good enough.

Yeah, fuck that. I refuse to continue to apologise for the person that I am. And that person is a writer. Would I change that for a career that’s more stable/lucrative/not insane?

No. I’ve spent years of my life trying to fit into the mould other people wanted me to be. I’ve worked my ass off in jobs that got me nothing but abuse. I’ve literally cleaned urinals just to be paid minimum wage. Would you choose that over something that sets your sole on fire? Something that excites and terrifies you more than any thrill seeking experience could? Something you think about morning and night, no matter where you are, asleep or awake, regardless of what else is going wrong in your life?

If your answer is yes, then I feel pity for you. Because your life is just another spent doing the “right thing”. Wake up, go to work, sleep, repeat. For me, that’s just not enough anymore. It never will be.

I know what I love. I know what I’m good at. I might not have the certifications or other glorified pieces of paper that say that, but any person who’s ever read something I wrote will testify to that. And quite a few of those were experts in the writing world.

So from now on, I don’t care how much respect I have for you, I will not take your lectures. I am doing this with my life (and that’s entirely what it is, my life, my choices, I’m the one who lives with them). I will write my books, because writing gives me purpose. I love the bookish community, I love learning about the art of story-telling, and I love my own characters and stories. I will no longer settle for anything less.

 

Hi, my name is Hannah Stait Wurth and I am publishing my debut novel. It’s not my first, there are many failed manuscripts in my bottom drawer, and it won’t be my last. I already have two more books being written as we speak. Nice to meet you, what do you love?

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