Learning the Craft

Terminally Curious has a question today. “Does the reason a writer writes have anything to do with how many words they write “learning the craft” before we sell to a publisher?”

Yeah, TC is a punk.

Did you ever wonder why romance writers do what we do? Why we work, study, go to conferences, learn, smooze, write, write, write, bounce with rejections and come back to work, study, learn, smooze, write and bounce some more?

Most of the writers I know today who sell their work to a publisher rather than self-publishing, work for many years before they sell. Some of us write several books, some write one book, working, reworking and re-reworking it.

I don’t know many who, after never writing a word, sit down one day, write a book and sell it. They might not have written complete books, but they’ve written scenes or short stories or some kind of fiction.

And the reasons people write? I can’t pretend to know all the reasons, but here are a few–

  • It’s what they do. If they aren’t writing, they’re making up stories in their head.
  • Some do it for the money. And yes, there are some writers who make a living doing it. I’ve even met some of them. But most of us don’t.
  • As a hobby. Some of these people are do-a-holics. They have something going all the time, and one of those things is a book or story.
  • Some do it so they can wear the name, “Writer.” These people enjoy the title enough to do the work in order to wear it.
  • There are those who love seeing their characters come to life on the page. Or to see the what if come to its conclusion.
  • Others have a colorful imagination and writing is a safe way to let it loose. 🙂
  • Some are just too stubborn to quit. 😛

There’s no right or wrong reason, but what I’m wondering TC is wondering is, does The Reason have anything to do with the number of words written while learning the craft before a publisher buys?

Think there’s any correlation?



4 thoughts on “Learning the Craft

  1. I don’t know anything about the number of words we have to write before we publish. I just write until I feel in my gut that it’s ready to go. Even then, I question myself. (That Doubting Thomas we all have living in us – to one degree or another.)

    I think we do what we do because we can’t NOT do it. Those stories won’t leave us alone, whether it’s the characters or the plot or whatever. We HAVE to write it down. Yeah, we torture ourselves in the process, but it’s worth it. Don’t you think?

    Linda Trout

    • If you read about it, most people spent X amount of hours doing what they do before they were good. The Beatles played in a bar in Germany for eight hours a day, I forget how long they did it, before they were able to get recorded.
      Most writers (Marilyn included) wrote, wrote, wrote before they sold a book. (Marilyn wrote scenes, but not books.)
      I think YOU write because you can’t not write, but I know people who write to make a million dollars a year. Period. Others who write because they want to be famous.
      Personally, I have to make up the stories (like breathing, it’s just what I’ve always done) but I don’t HAVE to write them down.
      That said, it’s easier to stay in control if I do. When I don’t, those characters just go wild on me. LOL.

  2. Well Susan, I write because I’d loose my mind if I didn’t. And just in case Marilyn is lurking about and wondering…yes I’ve written this week!

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