Writers Can't Really Work from Anywhere


If you're a writer, you can't really work from anywhere. 

You can't really open your computer at the beach, watch the waves, and crank out the next great international-beloved novel.

You can't really sit in a bar, listening to your friends complain about their 9-to-5 lifestyle while they get weekends off to go to a different bar.  

The Creative Life...

Is both incredibly solitary yet communal, shackling yet liberating. 

Writers cling to their stories, not because they want to but because they have to. The stories jingle around our heads like a catchy song, first inspiring, then obnoxious-an earwig that can't escape unless we get every detail down on paper.

The creative life is a calling simply because it's inescapable. 

It's not for everyone because not everyone can commit to the insanity of an entire book, the sheer time it takes to spill ideas onto a page only to find they don't work the same outside of your head and on the page as they did off the page and inside of your head; the ideas don't flow as easily, the plot doesn't connect, the characters don't come alive.

 The average literary novel is around 70,000 words

Nearly the same for a nonfiction book. The average length of a fantasy novel is 100,000 words. A Science Fiction book can have a similar average.

It took me seven years to get my first novel written and another two years to get published. That's nine years on a single book without pay, but full of dedication, of writing all day in coffee shops while others went wine tasting or bar-hopping or had a barbecue. Nights bent over my desk lit by the computer light with no expectation of a reward, only the desperate need to get this story out of my head and into the world.

Yet most readers only spend an average of 10 hours with a book.

The creative life can be a thankless task. 

Many writers clearly hate writing but love the act of having written.

But I love writing. I love getting sucked into a sentence so good it coats my mouth when I say it out loud. I love crushing on new words. I love when I look up from a story only to find time has flown, and there I am back in reality while the characters have come to life on the page.

Ideas are a dime a dozen but fleshing them out into a full story is not. But it takes understanding, of the story, of the dedication, and of yourself-you have to know how you work best, where you work best, and what gets you to sit in the chair and do the work.

But it's also key to know what keeps you from the chair. Is it the beach? Is it the bar? Is it the promise of more fun elsewhere? 

Writing shouldn't keep you from experiencing life 

But it does require willpower for when you need to write, no matter where you are.

But honestly, it most likely won't be on a beach, in a bar, and instead will be alone, at a desk or in a coffee shop, removed from the world because you are creating your own.