It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Two problems that writers, myself included, like to ignore as it’s a difficult topic to discuss. So challenging, in fact, that I’ve put off writing this blog post for twenty days.
So, what is this secret problem?
Let me give you two scenarios, both completely opposite of each other:
Person: “You’re doing so great at this writing thing! I follow you on social media and you’re everywhere! You’re famous!”
Person: “I’ve seen what you’ve been doing, it’s okay.”
Both of these scenarios have problems for writers, and yes, I’ve experienced both. The first person gives us a huge pat on the back, which we are really grateful for and often times we need. It’s GREAT to know that we have cheerleaders on our side! The second person is typically the one who is jealous of our success but doesn’t want to admit it. Both of these scenarios have one thing in common. They think we’re popular/famous and there’s no struggle. That’s because they only see the posts we share on social media—they only see the good.
Let me be completely transparent with you. Whether you are the first or second person, there’s something you need to know. Our lives are TOUGH too! When you’re writing for a living, or in my case trying, life is not going to give you a free pass and make you super famous just because you’re doing something different.
“Oh, we know that! We’re just happy to see your success!” some might say.
And as writers, we’re happy that you see that! But did you know a lot of that success stems from the struggle and even heartache of life? People see that I post a LOT of good things on social media, but in reality, these last few months have been unbelievably difficult for me. My cousin, who was super supportive of my writing, was murdered a week before Thanksgiving, I got laid off at my job just a few days before Christmas, I’m still in between jobs and not sure when/where I’ll get my next paycheck. To top that all off, I got a second degree burn on my hand a few weeks back that forced me to put off writing for a bit.
But through all of that, I’ve tried to keep my fans informed, show them the glamor of the writing life. When I post those things, I don’t do it just to show myself that I’ve got a LOT to be thankful for, I do it for the fans, to show how happy I am for their support. I do it in hopes that other would-be writers might get some encouragement. But it’s not easy. So, before you comment on any author or artist’s page about how famous they are or popular, please realize that they might not see themselves like that. Yes, it’s a good morale booster, but coming from an artist/writer standpoint, we don’t want to be put on a pedestal that we can’t get down from. We are just like everyone else. We struggle, some more than others. Our work is our business and we’re just trying to make our way in this crazy world.