Michelle Wittle On the Lonely Life of a Writer

Michelle Wittle On

Hmmm. I am going to be honest. I am a bit sad. I have revamped my other blog and no one is coming to it. There are no comments telling me to “go kill yerself” (and yes I know that yourself is spelled wrong, that is a calling card of someone I hold very dear and sure I miss them today).

 

In a way I feel like I am repeating myself and I probably am repeating myself. But, I can only report on what I feel and today that feeling is alone.

 

My email inbox only holds ads for Viagra. No one is talking to me on twitter. I can’t find people on twitter because every time I try, I get a pop-up screen that tells me that they are fixing that problem. I am not getting poked on facebook. My stalker has stopped calling me.

 

But I am still hopeful.

 

Again, I know that it takes time for people to find me. Not everyone has twenty hours a day to be on the Internet like I do. When I was a teacher, I would come home from work, pee, and then spend about half an hour on the Internet checking myspace, facebook, and my email. Then it was naptime. So, I can’t get mad for others doing the same stuff I used to do.

 

In a way, I feel like Carrie in that episode in Sex in the City when Carrie writes her column and asks her friends if they have read it. They all report that they have been too busy and they are sorry they missed it. She gets upset because she feels like since her friends can’t even read her work, no one must be reading it. Also, her boss keeps calling her and she is getting the feeling that she is getting fired. But it turns out that some book publishing company wants to publish her columns in a book.

 

Sure, I am not saying that some book company is totally stalking me (they could be, but I seriously doubt it). However, I do see a lot of practical truth in that episode.

 

First, the writer’s life comes in waves. One day you are surfing that wave and owing it. Then next day it kicks you in the shin and takes your lunch money. You can’t predict the waves outcome, you just have to ride it and let it take you where you need to go.

 

Second, unless your friends are writers as well (or in the arts), your friends will not read your work. Part of the reason, I think, is that they don’t know what really goes into writing a piece. They aren’t trying to be rude, they just see it as words on the paper. They can’t wrap their head around the struggle that goes into writing. Especially because we make it look so easy to them. But that is because on the outside, it just looks like a person tapping some keys. The hard work and muscle is in your brain and that isn’t so easy to see.

 

Also, why should you friends read your work? They can just call you up and hear you talk. Your friends get a free pass to your next creation. Fans don’t have that luxury. It could be simplified to this, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Shouldn’t your friends get something more then just your work that you share with everyone else? In a way, I think it is a bit of a jealousy factor. As in, why should I read something you share with the world, I want to just have this small, unknown piece of you. 

 

Lastly, you never know who your fans really are and maybe that is a good thing. Sometimes when you break down that imaginary wall, the magic is broken and people get disappointed. No one needs disappointed fans. Your fans love you for your words and how your words reverberate into their lives. They really don’t want to get to know you on a personal level. Be their hero and not their friend. They have enough friends.

 

Wait, that statement made me think of something else. The “being the hero and not a person’s friend.” Sometimes we let people into our lives and the magic is broken. When some people see us for what we really are, then the distance grows. I’m sorry, Muchkin that I became a broken person and not a hero. I’ve let you down even more then I though previously.

 

Well, anyhow, the writer’s life is a difficult one because there are these long stretches of time filled with nothing but white noise.

 

But when we have the white noise, we have to understand that something bigger is coming. Rest now because you will need it for later.

 

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6 thoughts on “Michelle Wittle On the Lonely Life of a Writer

  1. I was just talking to my painter sister about people not getting what artists do. I get the ‘oh yeah, I write too’ and I get pretty upset about it because I’m not sure if they understand the agony that is ‘getting up everyday and writing’. But then it does get lonely knowing that my friends don’t ‘get what I do’. Anyway, extraneous quotations aside, I love Philly Stories and I used to advertise with it (Fountainhead Books) and I love that it has a blog – I will read along…

  2. Hillary,
    Well, thank you so much for your support and I look forward to reading more of your blog (I so checked it out and I left you a comment).

    Best of luck to you!
    Michelle

  3. Great post! It’s even worse when family won’t read your work–aren’t they supposed to like whatever you do? That’s part of being in a family, right. Anyway, great blog, and good luck with the writing.
    Jon

    1. Jon:
      Yeah, it is really disheartening when one’s own family would rather, say…clean the cat litter box…or maybe deep clean the rugs then read one’s blog. However, sometimes the family you create is stronger and more supportive then the one you were born into.
      Thanks for your encouraging words and I am thrilled you enjoyed my post.

  4. Thanks! I know what you mean about writing vs. kitty litter. Oh well, it’s ultimately a thing we do for ourselves, right? Check out my blog at alternatewrites.wordpress.com btw.
    Jon

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