Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor of Love

In honor of Labor Day in the United States, I thought I’d dedicate a post to some of the hardest-working people I know–writers.

Most writers start with an idea that won’t let go, imaginary friends who insist on having their stories told, a wish that maybe–just maybe–the fruits of our labor might bring joy to others. In most cases, the new writer might harbor a tentative hope that they might achieve the ultimate dream–the big-time agent, the major publisher, the movie deal, and enough money to live comfortably. But there are no guarantees. Though we might hope for the best, we realize our books might never see a book shelf. But, yet we persevere.

We spend countless hours writing, rewriting, and editing despite the fact that we might never be paid for our efforts. We dream of the day when readers will talk about our books, be moved by our words, have their lives changed by what we write. But, there are no guarantees anyone will ever read a word we’ve written. But, we keep writing.

Few of us quit our day jobs in order to write full time. We juggle careers, children, family, volunteer work, and other aspects of our busy lives while still trying to scrape together a few moments to write. We miss sleep. We face the scorn of those friends and family members who resent the time we spend working on books that might never see publication.

We join writers groups and spend hours helping other people we’ve never met in person without expectation of any compensation. We do this because we know what it’s like to be alone in our writing struggles. And, so we create our own community with online strangers who eventually become our writing family.

We cry over rejection letters one day, vowing never to write another word, and then the next day, buckle down and revise our manuscript. Some us go on to live the dream of achieving the multi-million dollar book deal, while others self publish. Traditionally published, indie, or self-published, we’re all the same. We’re writers.

We write because we love it. Because we can breathe without it. Because it’s who we are. It’s a labor of love. And, for all of you who are laboring over your own masterpiece–whether it’s your very first chapter of your very first book, or the fifth book in a series–Happy Labor Day.

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