Yesterday, a member of my family (who, for the record, I absolutely adore) was talking about people working, people who are retired, and me, about whom he said, "whatever it is that you do."
I just laughed because I get this so much. I'm not sure what people think it is that I do, but I don't think their image is anything like the reality, which is that I sit at my computer for long hours, with my hands on the keyboard, putting words on the screen. (Or I talk on the phone or in person with people who want to know how to sit at the computer for long hours, hands on the keyboard, putting words on the screen.)
For people who don't write, the process seems magical. This is borne out by the number of people who think it is so easy to write a book and get it published and then have it hit the bestseller list. I recently interviewed with some folks who wanted me to ghostwrite a book for them, and this is what they assumed I could make happen. Hon, if editors and agents knew the magical formula for making a book a bestseller, believe me, they'd be selling it to us. And we'd be buying!
Those of us who write every day know that the process is far from easy. It is one of the most difficult things to do, ever. And also the most interesting and absorbing and fun.
But here's the funny thing, these days we all need to write. Whether you want to focus on creative writing or not, you'll need to master the writing process. Why? Because these days, coaches, entrepreneurs, healers, and artists–what I call creative professionals–all need blogs. And they need info products to sell. And newsletters to share what they do. And articles. And so on and on and on.
So the writing process needs to be de-mystified. Even though, for those of who write every day, there will also be a bit of mystery. Those moments when you are writing along and suddenly the words combine to make the most beautiful sentence you've ever read? Mysterious. That time when you are working on your novel and a character you yourself didn't create walks on the page? Mysterious. That moment when you find the exact right way to describe your business and what you do? Mysterious.
Mysterious and most wonderful. That's why I love writing so much, because it is challenging, concrete, logical, and…mysterious.
Thoughts? On the mysteries of writing or the straightforward aspects? On what it means that we all have to write now?