Why Being A Writer Isn’t At All Difficult
This morning, I watched the Remembrance Day Parade at the Cenotaph in London.
There was an interview with a former soldier who was representing a charity for blinded war veterans. He’d personally been blinded in one of the recent wars – Iraq or Afghanistan – having been shot in the face.
It was an incredible story, and the soldier told it with conviction. He took a bullet to the face. It went in below his left eye and through his head, exiting under the eye on the right side of his face. He’s since had reconstruction surgery, but unfortunately never regained his sight.
The crazy thing is, when he was telling the story, he said, “Luckily, I could perform first aid on myself.” This guy had his face taken off by a bullet, and –blinded no less – he performed first aid on himself for twenty-five minutes before help arrived. He then lost consciousness and woke up (I think) months later.
After describing this, he said he returned to the Cenotaph every year because he considers himself fortunate to have that outcome.
Writing Is Easy
The story above is pretty amazing. You have a guy who had a really terrible experience – something beyond my ability to visualise, frankly. He’s lost his sight, his whole world changed, months of his life disappeared and he had to perform first aid on his own face, having been shot yet he’s thankful to be alive.
I’m not a soldier, and can’t really talk with any authority about military life, nor a soldier’s psychology.
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What I can say is that writing is easy work.
Really, there are people whose jobs entail them risking their lives every day. There are people who do gruelling manual labour and there are people in third world countries that are barely paid to swim through untreated sewers in order to unblock drains and stuff.
Writing is a really easy job.
Writing Is Even Easier Than You Think
The major problems writers have when they say, “being a writer is tough!” tend to involve a couple of problems.
Either they don’t know what to write, or they can’t make money from their writing.
If you want to be a professional writer, then here is a really easy guide to getting you started:
Essentially, you find what people want, you give it to them and do a good job of doing so.
If you’re stuck with writer’s block, then it’s one of two issues:
- You need to get into the habit of forcing yourself to write.
- You don’t know what you’re supposed to be writing about.
Those two articles will see you through the corresponding problems if you just follow the advice within them.
Most people who read this blog are smart, so I know I’m preaching to the choir with this article.
However, and sadly, there are a lot of writers and would-be writers who fall for the traps and lies that they’re peddled by other writers, media gurus and corporate snake-oil salesmen. They believe the myths that writing is terrible and you need some divinely inspired muse – or some super-secret formula for success. Let’s address that.
How To Do Writing, Publishing and Online Business Wrong
I might have been trolled today.
I was reading about social media marketing, when somebody linked to a Business Insider article from 2014. Read it here for a laugh.
It was – on the surface – an in-depth look into the world of social media marketing.
Apparently, it can take 45 days to write a corporate tweet.
45 days, multiple meetings, an entire workforce and they hired a copywriter and graphic designer – for a single 140 character tweet.
This is ludicrous and I hope I am being trolled.
Assuming though that the article is serious, remember that whenever somebody says, “Writing is tough” or “marketing is complicated” or “there’s a low barrier to entry for writers” that this is the sort of competition that they’re talking about.
People who take over a month and have to hire in outside help to write a tweet.
I’ve been stuck on the next sentence of this post for about ten minutes now, because I don’t really know what to say.
In reality, you can work quickly and efficiently. You can write thousands of words a day and publish material very quickly.
All you have to do is sit and learn how things work – be that writing books, learning how to market on Twitter or creating a website for the first time.
It’s all there and it’s all easy to learn and do.
Oh, and you don’t have to risk your life to do any of it.
I’m in two minds about publishing this. I don’t like writing about politics, warfare or current issues on this site, and it feels a bit odd using a soldier’s tragedy to fuel a rant about how writers have it easy.
That said, it’s true and offers perspective. Writing is not remotely difficult, and if you are a writer or want to be one, you should bear in mind that pretty much every variable is in your control. You need a computer and the ability to type words into said computer.
If you can do that, you can be a writer. There is nothing remotely difficult about doing so, and it’s certainly a comfortable and safe job when compared with being in the military (or pretty much any line of work, frankly.)
Don’t trust anyone who tells you the opposite.
Oh, and don’t take six weeks to write a tweet.