“There’s nothing to stop a man from writing unless that man stops himself. If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam. There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it.” - Charles Bukowski
Bukowski was a badass. Rarely did he speak about his writing routine, but when he did, he spoke a great deal. The greatest of the writers, particularly the yesteryear ones, talk about how writing isn’t hard work, and that if words don’t come to you, you shouldn’t write at all. The words of Ray Bradbury still echoes in the corridors of an artist’s mind — one must create with joy or not create at all.
Unfortunately, the process of creation is not always accompanied by joy. When I tell people I’m a writer, they automatically assume my work is effortless. A common notion is that writers spend hours at a Starbucks, writing away. Or that clients are always lining up at our booth in search of a good copy. On the contrary, most of the clients don’t understand the intricacies of writing a good copy. It’s not written by fluke, but written after hours of research on the brand and how this can resonate with its story. While a conflicting opinion can push a writer to craft something far more compelling, rookie assumptions on how writing ‘just one line’ is effortless and can be done overnight can only rattle us. It takes time, and like any other profession, or creative process, this is also built on a foundation of continuous learning and practice.
The theory of writing as a glamorous profession.
I wish it were but it is 99 per cent perspiration and 1 per cent inspiration. While several people wonder if we sashay into our writing zone with a giant cup of black coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I’d like to break this bubble — it’s tough and it needs discipline (which most of us lack on most days, hello). When we need to write, we make do with whatever means we have. Sure ideas do come to us but picking the right ones and converting them into words is exhausting. Top it with the pressure from clients and the hankering to please readers, writers can be in a spot. Glamorous? No. Breaking the sweat and never being pleased with their own words? Yes.
So, the next time you intend to label writers as sexy creatures of mystery, don’t. I mean, nobody even agrees to pay us well, man. We get to hustle for a certain amount each day when clients think it’s okay to pay us 50 paise per word. The last time I checked, 50 paise isn’t even in existence. It’s a total bust.
Are you a writer? Do you struggle to work with clients and brands? Of course, writing is a magical process, but do you sometimes wish for an easier process of working? And more importantly, do you maybe wonder if your brain can function a little less when you’re trying to sleep? Tell me, what are your woes? We can all transform our tragedies into comedies…hahaha, how else will we survive the mundane reality of life otherwise?