Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Being A Writer Shouldn't Be Depressing, Honest

Someone recently got in touch about my blog saying nice things, but adding that they found it 'also a bit depressing sometimes when you highlight the plight of the debut writer and how difficult it is to get published.'

Oh dear.  Nothing could be further from my intention because I don't think the road to getting published is depressing at all.  As far as I can see, getting published is open to anyone, of any age, background, colour, creed, nationality, shape, size, whatever.  Anyone, absolutely anyone, can get published.

Personally, I think that's cheering.  What I accept might be depressing is quite how competitive it is, but that's true for most endeavours that  are worth doing.

For instance, I didn't realise until I started working at the University of Bath, where many of our elite athletes train, exactly what those young people put themselves through.  Hours and hours of training, day in, day out, for year after year.  Diet constantly monitored, no fun and games, sponsorship only for the lucky few, and real success only for one or two out of the hundreds who are training - and that's just at Bath.

It's hard doing almost anything and most things require years of training and practice - it takes about the same time to learn how to blow glass properly as it does to become a doctor.  Why not writing as well?

So you learn, you practice, you get better.  It takes time.  Yes, a few lucky people get there more quickly than others, but so long as you constantly keep on learning, keep on improving, keep on pushing at the door I believe it will eventually open.

The key to opening the door is writing something good, and that's possible for all of us.  Keep trying, keep on improving, keep writing, keep learning, keep pushing the door.  The only way to fail is to stop trying.


Myra Duffy said...

I've just started following you blog and am finding it not only interesting,but also very helpful. Keep up the good work!

Sarah Duncan said...

Thanks Myra!

Diane Fordham said...

I have never found your blog depressing. When I have read about - I will call them obstacles - along the writer's journey I actually feel, 'Phew, I'm not the only one' and 'I must keep persisting and know that these obstacles are all a part of the journey'. Keep up the great work Sarah... I love your blog :-)

Marina Sofia said...

One person's depressing is another person's healthy dose of realism. Are there days when we all want to give up (whether writing or doing anything else)? You bet! Are we going to give up? No. This is even more remarkable if we are not naive or blinded by exceptional success stories. So thank you for telling us the truth.

Edith said...

I found this post very hopeful because it placed the onus back in my court. It's up to me how much work I put into my writing! Thanks for the feel-good post! :-)