Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015
Writers. We are a strange breed. We have imaginations that run wild and are sometimes absolutely morose if not downright evil. And that is not excluded to what we put on paper, or digital bytes or any other form of written word; we live our lives with our heads in those clouds.

I recently completed watching all seven seasons of the Showtime series "Californication" and, let me start by saying, I really liked the show. But how many of us really live our lives like Hank Moody? I mean, really?

First of all, he was a fictitious character and there just are not that many really disgustingly good looking male writers out there. I mean, watching that series, you got the feeling that being a writer dropped skirts faster than being an athlete, rock-star and actor all rolled into one character. As a married man, well, that matters little to me, but as a man and writer all I can say is I freaking wish!

Sorry, but there are not a lot of Hollywood hotties looking to get into the pants of the worlds best authors.

I think the problem is that there is a romanticized vision of what it means to be a writer. Oh, sure, I can concede that there probably is a vibrant community of young writers who live a lifestyle that is depicted on screen. Sure, maybe some famous writers have dabbled in such debauchery, but most of us just pound away at a keyboard without the means or motive to act as such.

I think that is a problem, though. There is this romanticized vision of what it means to be a writer. most of us don't have best-selling novels; even fewer of us get laid by as many supermodel hot women (or men) as hank Moody. Probably fewer still have the (seemingly) overnight success of a J.K. Rowling or E.L. James; it just is not realistic to expect our first manuscript to go on to sell millions of copies world wide. But that is what I think people are trying to do; they latch on to the "hip" genre and run with a story thinking they will get some mega deal to make their book into a movie.

The truth is that success as a writer is extremely difficult. Much like actors, we have to hear countless rejections just hoping and praying that in the mass of manuscripts that make their way onto the desks of literary agents, our work will stand out enough to maybe get a deal; anything to get books into stores.

Too often when that first idea fails, the "writer" moves on to the next idea to make it big. It has become a "get rich quick" scheme on par with the Nigerian money order scam. If we want to make it as writers, we have to keep writing. Keep putting stuff out there. Find an audience and grow it slowly. Maybe it gets discovered and we hit it big, or maybe we make a few extra bucks on the side while we continue to trudge through our everyday lives. Either way, writing is about the voice; the words. There are things inside artists that need to get out. For writers, those things are words that forma  picture and story.

Don't Californicate your soul as a writer; just be a writer.


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