What Edison Said: the Sweating Thing

You know, 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. What is lacking in the masses of wannabe writers is willingness to work on their work. You can't write it and say you're done. You can't edit it once and say it's ready. You can't publish it and wait for fame and fortune to drop into your lap. And that's sometimes hard to comprehend, even off-putting.

Writing is becoming tougher as it becomes easier. The computer facilitates writing, and any goof with spellcheck can play author, so it's like that coomercial where everyone gets on the tennis court and disrupts the game with their amateurish enthusiasm. The tenor of our society works against the serious writer, as well. There aren't as many serious readers these days. It's easier to watch the movie or play a game on your phone than it is to sort out characters and decode three-syllable words. And of course there are all those celebrities "writing" books that flood the market and put the real storytellers spine out on bookstore shelves. And don't get me started on agents and publishers who are looking for what's hot, whether it is quality work or whether it simply fits the slot for October of 2009. It's hard to find those who actually write good plots with good characters using good words, and it's no wonder that when we find a real author we buy every book that person ever wrote.

There have always been roadblocks for writers, of course. Writing a manuscript by hand would have daunted me, not to mention recopying the whole thing to correct the errors. I am willing, however, to put in the time (and the figurative sweat) that it takes to create the best work I am capable of producing, and I believe that is the mark of a true writer. So I can't help but chuckle when people say to me, "I've got an idea for a book, you know. I just have to take some time and write it down."

Good luck with that.

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