4 Lies I’ve Heard in 4 Years of Blogging and Writing

So, on December 6th, WordPress threw this tiny but surprisingly heavy notification on my dashboard.

4-years-of-blogging

4 years, guys.

I’ve been doing this for 4 years. I’m so happy and thankful.

But that’s what 19 year old me would have said.

I’ve written 100 posts here, and finished writing three novels. I’m now older, wiser and a  tad bit meaner.

I believe in keeping things real.

So here’s a bunch of things I wish people hadn’t told me, in the past 4 years – but they eventually did, because sometimes, certain people are inexplicably sadistic.

For everyone out there who is starting out on blogging or writing a book – I’m here to set the record straight.

I’m going to strip away all the cheesy sugar coating and destroy the cliches that have been infesting our profession for decades.

This whole post, I’ll be talking about all the nasty crap and chaos that comes with writing a book or starting a blog, but no one ever talks about – cuz it’s either nicer that way or it makes them uncomfortable. But I personally think this is some legit information that you must know, if you want to survive.

So here you go.

  • Writing a Book Is the Tough Part.

I can guarantee you that this is bound to happen at least thrice when you write a book.

You’ll be sitting there, stuffed away in a quiet corner, working on your book, and you’ll be totally frustrated about something – a plot hole, writers block or something of that sort – and that’s when someone will undoubtedly walk up to you and say, ‘Don’t worry, writing that book is the hardest part. Once that’s done, it gets so much easier.’

It’s a lie!!!!

Total BS. 

Trust me when I tell you this: The writing is the easy part.

It’s so the easy part.

And also the most fun, and enjoyable.

It’s the happiest and most meaningful part of the process – I mean, this is why you became a writer!

You love writing.

For a writer, writing a book shouldn’t be hard – if it is, why would you become a writer?

You should enjoy your writing. You should be good at writing.

But after that, comes the editing, the reviewing, the marketing and all the business shit. And to be honest – that’s the tough part. That’s the most insufferable part of being a writer.

FINISHING your book is easy, it’s so darn easy that even a girl with a full time college course like me has been able to finish three novels and two short story collections in four years.

The real hard part is making your work commercially viable.

(I know people might interject here that you should love writing for the sake of it, and you shouldn’t be doing it for money – but hey, I promised I’ll keep it real and honest, so guess what? Everyone wants to be Stephanie Meyer or J.K.Rowling or Durjoy Dutta. Whether they admit it or not, good money is every writer’s ultimate dream.)

And when you begin your querying and submissions, trust me darling, you’ll be thinking and craving to get back to writing again.

You’ll be weeping to get to write again, and not get our mind flabbergasted with all the numbers and details of the Publishing world.

Writers and Bloggers, while you’re working, cherish that time. Embrace every bump in the road.

Welcome writer’s block with a tight hug.

Cuz I promise, none of that is going to be nearly as painful as getting a rejection letter or getting someone in the publishing industry to take a serious look at your MS.

  • Welcome “Criticisms”

If I had a dollar for every time a guy used the phrase, ‘Can we talk about your book over a cup of coffee?’ or ‘I have some criticisms about your recent post’ as a pick up line, I’d have enough money to buy self publish all the books I’ve written so far, and every book I’ll write in the future.

Being a blogger or a writer, means you’re putting yourself out there in the world.

It’s important that you are aware of and acknowledge the fact that it’s an open invitation to let people stalk you and discuss about you, to you.

Although it might be overwhelming to get those first comments and reviews on your story, don’t take every advice and don’t let every random stranger ‘criticize’ your work. With increasing digitization of  content, every random Social Media user out there is a self-proclaimed critic.

And that is why, it’s very important now more than ever, to keep your boundaries sharp.

Remember, art isn’t democracy. Your writing belongs to you. People don’t get to vote on it.

It’s okay to be feisty and defensive of your work every now and then, but just be careful that you don’t come across as too arrogant.

I have a set of people I’d like to call my beta readers – people I trust and respect for their experience, intellect and the true affection they hold for me. When I write something good, they adore me. But at the same time, they’re the first ones to call my crap, fearlessly look right into my eyes and tell me my writing for the day sucked.

Theirs is all the opinion I take to my heart, and everything else simply doesn’t matter to me.

It takes years (in this case, four) of practice to learn to tell the difference between genuine criticisms from well-wishers, and desperate perverts trying to make a move on you.

It’s a very thin line between the two, but don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.

  • There’s no such thing as stupid questions

It can be incredibly difficult for you to form a healthy connection with a non-writer, once you plunge into this world.

Cuz, at the end of the day, they simply don’t get it.

You could have friends who are Business Analysts, Programmers, Doctors, Professors, or even Strippers, but there’s one thing they all have in common: They are not going to understand your unhealthy obsession with your book and your characters. Cuz, at some point in the day, their job is done.

They have the luxury to clock out, go home, crash on the couch and just sleep.

But us?

WE DON’T RELAX.

There’s no such thing as a writer on a vacation. When you’re not working, you’re writing. And when you’re not writing – you’re thinking about writing.

You book is going to consume your life and all of your free time.

So, everyone else is going to look at you like you’re crazy.

You know why?

Cuz you are crazy.

You will have someone ask you questions like, ‘why don’t you delete that chapter?’ or ‘Why don’t you do something more useful?’ or ‘Why don’t you get a real job?’ or ‘Why don’t you write something that happened to me in your book?’

If at all anything should come up, then just be sure smile and nod. If you can say anything, just say ‘Thanks for your feedback.’ while you make sure that the person is a safe distance away from you so they don’t get a skull cracked open when you overreact to their benign criticism.

  • Blogging and Writing gives you credit to be an introvert forever.

No.

Noooo.

Noooooooooooo.

Don’t pretend like the rules of socializing don’t apply to you.

And I know you want to – cuz I was like that too. (I still am.)

Writers are like very shy performers.

We want to show people we’ve got talent, except that we’re a little reserved and uncomfortable with people. That, and also some crippling social anxiety.

I’m an expert at avoiding human contact myself – but deep down, I know that’s not going to work for me in the long run.

Eventually you’re going to have to promote and market your work, and that ironically means – human interaction.

(Ew.)

So practice your I’m really happy to be talking to you face.

Smile.

Smile even if you’re not happy and you just want to get back home and curl up in your bed with a book.

The biggest stereotype is probably the fact that writers are allowed to be introverts.

Well guess what, Writing The Book is the only part of the process where you’re allowed to shut in. And once you’re done with that, it’s really time to put on your extrovert disguise and promote!

Now, on a lighter note – writing a book will be the biggest achievement of your life.

I mean, how many people out there can say that they wrote a book?

It’s easy for anyone to start a book, but only few finish.

Without a doubt, there’s something very special about being able to say that you’re a blogger or that you wrote a book.

It doesn’t matter if it succeeds or fails – because there’s going to be a little piece of you that’s going to be out there.

Living on forever.

And that’s pretty damn awesome.

XOXO,

Bala.

To follow the author on Facebook. Click Here. 

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P.S: I’d like to hook you up with this book I wrote, it’s up on Amazon for sale!

Beach House Affair Cover

If you like Murder Thrillers with an Indian Twist, Click Here. 

A review on Amazon would be much appreciated

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8 Comments

  1. Ha ha ha….I love these brutally honest Bala posts! This is a bang-on post for those who not just love writing but dream of making it big! (Though I would rather be the sunshine on my back, coffee cup in hand, yawn-yawn writer myself 🙂 ). Congo Bala for four years of serious writing…many more innings to go 🙂

  2. So freakin’ true. I can relate with so much of that post! And it makes me glad that I actually don’t mind human contact for the most part. (Finally, a small break…!) Thanks for posting that, and you have a new follower.

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