Monday, June 08, 2009

The Truth About Writing--and It's All True!

I keep forgetting that much of the world regards writing as a glamorous profession. When I mention I'm a writer--something I've only felt comfortable doing in the past few years with the publication of my novel--eyes light up with interest. More often than not, a confession soon follows about a book my new acquaintance has been thinking of writing for a long time. Usually something along the lines of The Da Vinci Code but with a new twist of some sort, but to be fair, the ideas run the gamut from thriller to Jane Austen literary (and they also usually sound like pretty good stories!). "Wonderful," I say. "Do it. You know, writing really changed my life. It made me see the world in a whole new way. So enriching!"

It's all true, but I don't have the heart to tell them that's only a small part of it. However, the multi-talented veteran erotica writer M. Christian does have the courage to spell it out for us. And what he says is so very true indeed. Be sure to read through to the end, fellow writers. You'll be glad you did!


Erobintica said...

I read that last night - very good and luckily I already know the truth (thank you poetry! - notice all the poets that drive ferraris?) - you must do it for the love of it first and foremost.

Marina said...

I checked this out yesterday, too! Great piece - thanks for linking to it here. It's something everyone should read.

Donna said...

And it is so true. Nominally depressing as hell, but ultimately uplifting--no doubt about that. Robin, I know that poets are the "purest" of artists. They can in no way be doing what they do for worldly gain. For some reason people think smut writers are rolling in the dough, lol. The thing is every writer, even those who seem very "successful" on the outside faces so many challenges, both internally and with the marketplace. It really never stops, from what I understand!

EllaRegina said...

Poets do it for "wordly" gain... ;-)

Off to read the article.

Donna said...

"Wordly gain" is the best reason to do anything, ER!

EllaRegina said...

Agreed. The only reason, really.

Emerald said...

Wow, what a beautiful piece. Especially the ending indeed (it seemed to me). Thanks for sharing this, Donna.

"For some reason people think smut writers are rolling in the dough, lol."

I think it's a misunderstood application of the "sex sells" idiom. Really. It's as though there's this perception that just about anything that has to do with sex also makes enormous amounts of money. I noticed this as a sex worker in different areas of the industry — it has seemed to me to be often presumed that lucrativeness is a given in sex work because it is sex work (in some areas and some cases, of course, it certainly can be). And I think in a way this perception seems to carry over to sex writing too to people who aren't familiar with the writing industry (or the sex industry for that matter).

Thanks again Donna.

Craig Sorensen said...

Yup, that was a terrific post. M. Christian rocks.

The truth can be hard, but it's best to be pragmatic about what we're doing here. It's about the passion.

Donna said...

Thanks Craig and Emerald. Your take on the "sex sells" truism is so interesting, Emerald. Somehow it always is reassuring when the myths extend across service providers! I was talking to a musician friend last night who was telling me paying gigs are drying up and a club will only give you "the door" proceeds, while they take the bar, and if you want anyone to show you have to corral your friends. Sounds like a bookstore reading! He said the only time you get paid is for weddings and bar mitzvahs, in other words, you don't get paid for playing what you want to play.

Sounds familiar, eh?

mchristian said...

Thanks so much, Donna! I just posted your post about my post on my blog ... where I post :-)

And thank you all for your kind words about it. As I also like to say: writing can be a hard life .. the least we can do is try and be nice to one another :-)

Hugs all around,


Donna said...

Thanks for posting about my post about your post! Should I post about it ;-)?

Your column has already helped me so much in terms of getting focused on what matters, gracias!

Anonymous said...

M. Christian's piece was actually uplifting in its despair! So true that no one really gives a shit whether I write or not--except me.

And yes, we do need to be kinder to our battered and bruised fellow writers.

Thanks for linking this for us, Donna.


Donna said...

Yes, cerulean, this piece was inspiring in so many ways, in spite of the grim truths in the opening section. I totally agree we can make a difference by being kind to each other and there are plenty of wonderful writers doing just that--just look around right here :-).

Gina Marie--whoah, talk about inspiring! I am so, so, so proud of your great-grandmother! What a hero. I always think--when I stop learning, when I stop being curious, that means I'm dead. Hopefully I can follow her path in the decades to come. I'm going to think of your brave foremother, too, when the going gets tough.

Alana Noel Voth said...


I appreciate what you said about writers being kind to one another. We tend to get competitive as writers, and I won't pretend I don't. I do.

Also, I'm overly sensitive, I'm anti-social, and I take writing very-very seriously. All this can result in my coming across like a big fat elitist or something.

You mentioning writers should remain kind to one another made me stop and think. Thank you. Your words reminded me kindness matters even among, perhaps especially among, writers.


Donna said...

Hey Alana,

It's always a real pleasure to have you stop by!

You know, I sometimes direct my frustrations at the wrong targets, too. We do lead a rather solitary, self-directed life as writers and it's hard to keep proper perspective. Actually, you are one of the people who helps me keep my eye on my real goal: a passion for the truth. So thank you!