Saturday, November 20, 2010

The More We Write

Taunuslandschaft--1890--Hans ThomaThere was an article that ran this week on the Genreality blog by urban fantasy author Carrie Vaughn entitled “Things I Didn’t Expect About Writing Full-Time.”

I thought it was really interesting because I have noticed things that surprised me about spending my day as a writer.  But I hadn’t actually sat down to articulate them.

Carrie Vaughn mentions things like the number of emails she gets, and the endless waiting for different things on the publisher’s end to happen.

Those things wouldn’t have made my list, but I’ve definitely noticed other things that have surprised me about being a writer. One thing that is that I spend most of my day writing.  It’s not just work on my novel, of course—it’s also answering emails, writing blog posts, creating short tweets, writing status updates, commenting on blogs…I’m actually writing most of the day.

I’m writing to people who also spend most of their day writing.  Other writers, my agent, my editors. 

These people all have excellent communication skills.  Way above average communication skills.

So lately—I’ve also noticed that I’ve had some frustration (well-hidden.  I hope…) with regular people who aren’t writers and don’t write clearly.    That’s something I never would have expected as a byproduct of spending my day writing.

I’m not picking out typos or being picky about grammar or anything like that—I’m just trying to figure out the point of the school-related email or the Scout-related email or the church-related email.  Because the emails frequently ramble and aren’t clear.   And I’m always in such a hurry to get to the crux of the missive.

And I’m used to corresponding with writers.

Which is ridiculous, of course.  These non-writers aren’t practicing their writing skills like we are.  I’m just learning to reread emails a few times to figure out what some of them are trying to say.  And saving the emails and using my highlighting feature. :)

My husband has wonderful writing skills for a non-writer. But it  takes him a long time to write an email.  He wants to get the word choice exactly right. 

So that’s what’s surprised me the most—the fact that I apparently think everyone writes well, or that writing is just a basic skill like reading is,  because of the amount of time I spend interacting and corresponding with writers.  :)

What surprises you, as you spend more time writing?