1. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Do you think they think it's easy?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cutecat22, May 30, 2014.

    Does anyone else on the forum think that the general, non-writing public thinks writing is easy and that us writers simply sit at a keyboard and the magic flows?
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    To be honest, it does look easy. I mean, how hard could it be to sit down and type a story where a person desires something, has to overcome obstacles to get to that something, then achieves it? It's easy, anyone can do it. Watch:

    Bob wants a cake in the store across town. He's in the middle of a traffic jam. He gets out of his car and navigates the traffic jam/does ninja jumps and dashes across the traffic jam/teleports/turns his car into a jet/whatever you want. He hires a taxi to get him to the cake store. He gets the cake. The End.

    Or if you needed an antagonist to stop Bob from getting the cake, throw in a monster or to for him to fight.

    In general, to the non-writing folks, it looks insanely easy. They probably look at us like we're weird. :p :D We create stories, then have difficulty completing it.
     
  3. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    :rofl: Can you turn that into 150 thousand words of action/adventure/romance to charm the pants off your readers? :rofl:

    For example, a friend of mine was constantly hounding me to finish my current work in progress. Every time I saw her she would say things like "have you not finished it yet, just write the damn thing!" So I gave her a couple of pages from the middle of the book and then sent her a list of questions, not about the piece I sent her, but about what happens next, who says what, who does what and why, a couple of separate lists of research questions I needed to answer ...

    She messaged me back and said "I can now see how hard it is for you, I will stop pestering you and if you need any help, I'm always here."
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  4. maidahla
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    maidahla Active Member

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    I write obsessively and then take a few months off. It smoothens out the flux and flow of writing something you'll end up respecting. At least in my experience.

    Nobody should say it's easy to be "inspired" once you're having trouble with your work or are stuck in a rut. But it is easy once it's finished!

    I don't think people assume authors have it easy. I think they assume the editors have it easy. At least, that's what I used to think until recently. I just recently stopped calling mine a "meddler". Lol
     
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  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Part of the reason it may seem easy to some is that they only get to see the final product. They don't see the many drafts, revisions, edits, etc. we have to go through before putting out the final product.
     
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  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think general public assumes this of any artistic endeavour. Nobody wants to pay for photos or paintings, they expect to be able to get it for free somehow, use it on book covers, in adverts etc. not realising (or caring) that it takes a photographer weeks to develop the idea, execute it, process it for viewing. Fine art such as painting is even more time consuming and it takes years to master. Same with writing. I think most non-writers (who are also not terribly keen on reading fiction) think writing isn't a 'real job' and assume it takes a LOT less time and effort than it actually does. But overall, I think respect for the arts is on the rise, so fingers crossed, it will become recognised as a valid career for many, especially in the light of the fact it takes so bloody long between deciding to do art and getting a decent pay out of it.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I still remember my initial reaction when I learned it wasn't that easy to write. I thought, 'Wait, you mean they don't just sit there, hammer out a story and send it to the publishers? It takes years? Numerous editing and rewrites? Struggling with characters and plots? Wow. I think I have some new respect for writers who do this for a living...'
     
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  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I agree. Plus people of today want it now ...

    I can't paint to save my life and I can't read music so for me, painters and musicians are dusted with magic!
     
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  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    As Johnny Sain used to say, "The world doesn't want to hear about labor pains; it just wants to see the baby."
     
  10. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Ok I think this is what people think. Writing is easy because
    - You have no pressure or deadline [Not for the writers who write for living]
    - You are the God of the characters you are creating, can put them in the life's path as you wish, so you MUST know what to say, how to say.
    - With abundant information in internet, easy access to resources, free writing tools writing is not hard.
    - Above all, you chose to write, so it must be of great interest to you. You must enjoy pouring your imagination on paper. So it must come easy for you.

    With these preconceived notion, they dont understand Why you can't write when you have computer, comfortable table/chair, and lots of time in hand? They can't understand 'Writer's block'. Why should you wait for some inspiration, its not Rocket Science?

    They don't understand,
    - One simple thing can be said in numerous number of ways, and you can't pin down a particular way is the best!
    - the roller coaster ride of sudden rise of hope and energy, and utter fall of confidence.
    - that readers and critics can be harsh and cruel so that they can nullify our effort to come up with a 50000 words book with a single negative word. So when we write we just dont have those friends, and family who would only have appreciations, in mind , but also those cruel critics; and we constantly write, re-write, re-re-write hoping to escape from their brutal reviews 'You spent 2 years to come up with THIS??' .
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    AMEN! :)
     
  12. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Exactly. I have the same problem selling my work (plushies and other handmade things). People come, see the price and "oh my god, it's so expensive! My aun do it to, she make it for free". What I say? "So, ask your aunt to do it for you". Yes, I'm a rude person. When people don't respect my work, I'm very rude.

    And, even working all the day creating the pieces, people say that I don't work and I need to seek a job. A job. Humans forget that artisans are workers too, before the industry artisans are the workers that make shoes, clothes, chairs, and paint selfies... Humans forget things too quick :/
     
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  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Frankly, there are a lot of "I wanna be a writer" types who think it's easy. Such disillusionment when they actually start writing...
     
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  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    People don't appreciate handmade anymore. I had a dance with handmade a couple of years ago when I set up a small business making quilt cover and pillowcase sets. Although I am creative, when it comes to business I am reactive rather than proactive so I only received five orders (which I completed) before closing the business after only two years. And yes, I think a lot of it was also down to the money. Who wants to pay £50 for a handmade bed set when they can pick a mass made one up from Tesco for £8.99 ?

    On the plus side, closing the business gave me more time to write ...:)
     
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  15. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I can really only speak about Finnish people. Here , I think interest in reading is decreasing especially with young people. Most don't read books and they don't read any longer articles from the web either.
     
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  16. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I really do think people believe we have an easy ride of it, one of my friends did and when i started explaining The Master Swordsman Chronicles to them, they looked at me as if i was alien then apologised for assuming the simplicity of it
     
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  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    To add to this:

    They probably wonder why we even bother. I mean, from their perspective, we're beating ourselves up over every little word, every little sentence. We endure rejection after rejection. They see us fighting so hard over what appears to be a bunch of words on a paper. They must think we're nuts, and who could blame them?

    If I wasn't the sort to want to write, and here I saw my friend going through the grindmill with her/his writing, I would wonder why he/she doesn't just write for pleasure so he/she doesn't have to worry about the rest? Or why s/he doesn't stop entirely because in my mind, does s/he really enjoy what s/he does if it's causing her/him that much stress?

    So I think, with that said, when they ask why we're even doing it, I don't think they're just being dicks. I think some of them are actually concerned/confused as to why we'd beat ourselves again and again over what is apparently a voluntary hobby we put on ourselves. To paraphrase an author, no one is making us write anything.
     
  18. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    About the art of writing I can speak about my country. People here don't read. Our last president said that books are boring o_O

    And, we have more writers and publishers than readers!! Too much books for a people that don't like to read. The most part of the writers here don't read!

    I'm a joke between groups of writers here. I'm working in my fantasy book for over one and half year, and don't have reached the fifth chapter (I'm working in the plot first, I don't want a lot of holes in it and don't want a merely copy of LOTR). And people come and say that I'm lazy, stupid, because they write books in two, three months. It's easy! You need only to sit, write every day, and your book is ready! Revision? My friend made the revision (he don't know how to write, but it doesn't matter).

    I read the first pages of the books and... ahhhhh, someone save me!!! My eyes! My eyes!!!

    And the small publishers here take those books and publish them :dry:
     
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  19. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Quite philosophical really! Which begs the question, why don't we just do it for ourselves? Why do we go to all the trouble/stress/worry and then take on the even bigger task of publishing, which is akin to throwing yourself to the lions?
     
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  20. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I don't think there's any particular timeframe, yes I'm sure some writers can do it in three months, and some can't, we're all different but I get your point about the undeserving ones always seem to get the publishing contracts!
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the vast majority of the 'general non-writing public'?... no...

    but a goodly portion of it, probably...
     
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  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    All I can figure is because we like to have a shot at it, too. We want to be like our favorite authors who did publish, who did get there. We want to walk in their shoes. The apprentice follows his/her master as it were.

    Those of us who soon learn what it takes to be a published author hike up their shorts and get ready for the long struggle. Others, unfortunately, get overwhelmed and stop entirely.
     
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  23. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I'm a-hiking them there shorts ...
     
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  24. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that those who regularly buy and read books think it is easy.

    Those who don't read or think writing (fiction especially) is frivolous, probably do.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think lack of familiarity with any process can easily lead to said process looking much simpler than it is to an outside observer. In my field of work (interpretation and translation), one will eventually have conversations that end in some flavor of, "So you speak two languages, big whoop. So does every kid in Miami. How does that make you a professional anything?" People don't realize the skill involved. They don't get that there are rules and theory to apply, courses to take, licenses to be obtained. They don't get that synonyms sometimes aren't really synonyms because their differing connotations can sway the tone of a conversation completely off track. They don't understand that often an exact, word for word translation is the worst translation of all. And they certainly don't get that there is a great deal to study and learn to know when to be exact and when to be correct, because in my world those two words have very different meanings. :)

    I think many people come to writing with the same issue, not just those looking over our shoulders. I have seen countless members join this and other forums over the years with the idea that the first story they've ever even attempted to flesh out will be The Story they publish. No intervening practice. No short stories. No other writing written full in the knowledge that it will never be published, but is simply training, study, and practice.
     
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