In Writing, Like Life, There Are No Guarantees

I must admit I am sometimes taken aback by how writing at its most fundamental core is so insane.

Think about it. You sit down and write a story. Okay, fine. You make it the best story you can with the tools you have available. All right, nothing wrong so far.

But there are absolutely no guarantees it will ever be sold or read by anyone.It may never earn one single penny. It may never help your career in anyway. You may decide to trunk the darn thing and it sits in an attic until you kick the bucket and the executor of your estate sifts through handfuls of paper upon which you have poured out your soul, wonders “What is this garbage?” and throws it into a fire or something.

I mean, seriously. Think about it. Who else but a crazy person would enter into a contract like that? To write? For what goal? There are no guarantees in this business. None.

You want to know a hard fact? I can almost promise you will make more money flipping burgers than you ever will writing. Want to know something else? Flipping burgers has more future in it than writing. Digging ditches, cutting brush, surveying a desolate Kansas field in the dead of winter — all easier than writing. And often more rewarding.

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through this? Because we have to. We have all these words and stories and ideas inside that are bursting to get out. You can’t walk around with something like that inside you forever. You have to let it have voice. You have to write.

I don’t know about anyone else. I mean, I’ve spoken to writers about this before. All I know is about me. I don’t write because I want to.

I write because I have to. Something inside forces it from me.

It’s crazy and it’s insane. It’s writing.

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