Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are Writers Crazy?

Recently I finished watching a wonderful show: Avatar--the Last Airbender. It is awesome, and I highly recommend it, for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

In the show, there is a great character named Iroh who, like me, is a tea fanatic. I mean, the man is PASSIONATE about his tea.

While traveling in the woods, he sees a plant and stops to examine it. It looks just like a certain flower that makes a wonderful, aromatic tea. However, it also looks very similar to a flower that is, in fact, a horrible poison.

Hmmmm. Delectible tea, or deadly poison?

What he's really asking himself is--should I go for it? Are the consequences worth it if I'm wrong?

Okay, I'm sure by now some of you are saying "WHAT THE HELL, OLD MAN! Why is this even up for debate??!"

However, isn't this more than little bit like our writing lives? Come on ;). Don't lie.

Most normal people avoid rejection and criticism like it's a deadly poison. They go out of their way to not put their butts on the line, not be talked about, not be judged. Why? Because it's hideously uncomfortable and the consequences aren't worth it.

But writers?

We're not satisfied until our work is out there before tons of agents and journalists, as well as our grandmas, pastors, and those bitchy girls that teased us in high school, ready to be judged until the cows come home.

AND to get to that point of Extreme Judgery Before the Masses, we put ourselves through cycle after cycle of painful, awkward rejection. Odds are, we won't even make it after all of our toil and suffering. But do we stop? No!

Obviously, there is something very wrong with us.

Why the heck do we do this to ourselves? Is being published just that good?

All true writers will say the same thing: YES!! It's worth it.

There is nothing else that can compare to the thrill of acceptance, of being published, and we can't stop wanting it even if we tried.

So, old uncle Iroh's suddenly doesn't seem so odd. I believe that's the heart of what it is to be a writer. Being so passionate about something that you're willing to be crazy-go-nuts to experience it, even if it means potential suffering.

I'm not going to tell you what happens in the show, just that Iroh drinks the tea.

What do you guys think?

Tea, anyone?


Lisa and Laura said...

TOTALLY worth it. This might sound pathetic, but I want to be published mainly just to prove to everyone that I can do this. I want teenage girls to read our books and be inspired. I want my kids to know that it's possible to follow your dreams and have them come true. I want to hold my book someday, dammit.

Sorry, what was your original question? Are writers crazy? Uh, yeah, I'm going to go with a big fat YES. At least this one is.

Yunaleska said...

My answer was yes before I read the post! Of course we are, but its a good crazy.

Michelle Gregory said...

what else could you call it but crazy? your post made me think of 2 quotes i have:

"It's nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums to get rid of." ~ Shirley Hazzard

"Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." ~ George Orwell

Michelle Gregory said...

... and that's not even talking about the submitting for publishing process. i don't even want to think about THAT!

Rebecca Knight said...

LiLa--That is the opposite of pathetic! I love your goals!! :D

Yuna--It is totally a good crazy!

Michelle--I love that first quote! That's exactly what I was thinking when I was writing this post. LOL.

We wouldn't have it any other way, though ;).

TereLiz said...

Writing is all about risk, of course. And it's only after we share our work with others-- the biggest risk of all-- that we are rewarded with feedback. Michelle, great Orwell quote.

Great post, Becca!

Natasha Solomons said...

Hi Rebecca,

Yes, I think writers have to be a little bit bonkers. We're people who believe it's a good thing to listen to the voices in our heads, after all.

And, yes, it's hard and frustrating but so amazing when people start saying yes...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I shall come and see you again soon!


Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks for stopping by, too, Natasha! :D