OPINION: Behind The Scenes of Writing

Photo Credit: Everett Taylor

Photo Credit: Everett Taylor

Everett Taylor, OwlFeed Opinion Editor

“Finally free from her wretched life she once lived, Lyn moves on and out of her parents home. Leaving behind all of her painful memories, going on into California, she hopes that doing so will be her new salvation. With her scholarships covering her going into a fashion and art school, while she works part time to pay for her living.” I finished writing this sentence, then I paused, staring at the computer blankly. Dang it — writer’s block.

Not a lot of people write. In fact, less than 1% of Americans enjoy writing. It takes time to think of things to write about, and even more time to scribble it all down and get it done right. But for those who love to write and make a living out of it, know that it is so much more than having a bright idea and putting it all down on a few pages.

Personally I’ve been a writer for about 5 years now and I absolutely adore writing. Starting a short story or a book is a lot of fun. Coming up with all of my own ideas and being able to control how everything will happen is a leisure. But ending it is a whole other ball game.

There is always some type of block, a never-ending loop of not knowing what to say next. Should the hero, who has only ever known hardships in their life, become the villain or stay a hero? Do I want a darker story or a happy, easygoing story? What will the audience like? What kind of audience am I trying to reach?

And that is not even half of it. There are also the ideas of what ifs. What if my book doesn’t get published? What if it does?

Derek Murphy, a professor of literature and author himself, talked about how hard it is to make it.

“Let’s pretend that there are 10,000 books in the top 10,000 (I’m not exactly sure that’s how Amazon works, but it’s a good estimate),” Murphy said on creativindie.com. “So out of 4,572,492 books, 10,000 of them are doing OK. If we throw away all the junk, you’ll need your book to outperform the other books ranked in the top 10,000, so you become one of the top 10,000 books.”

He added, “Incidentally, I’m not saying all those other books are junk – they could be amazing books, whose authors just don’t know how to keep them visible. So what percent is that?

“.01% would be 45724.92

“10,000 is roughly 25% of that.

“So, could we say that .0025% of authors are successful (sell at least 1000 copies).”

We all know that one person that is always in their head, thinking of some new random idea all the time, the ones with all the creativity of a child. Some of those people are writers, and some put all of those crazy ideas on paper and expand with them, but never know how to execute with all of the materials they have.

So what do you do after that? Give up and just quit? No. Never give up that easily, the best way to get going is to find some type of inspiration. Look for it in anything, anywhere you are. Look out on the world as your new muse.

“As someone who loves to write and use it as an outlet, I think a lot of people should try it just for fun, because why not,” said AFHS junior Ray Caldwell. “But as a writer who wants to get something more or extra out of writing, I can say with 100% confidence that writing is not for everyone. 

“Like, I am not saying that only certain people can write, but to be a true and accomplished writer there are certain things that you must know how to do.” 

Ray continued, “Things like grammar, punctuation, spelling, and wording matter very much. And not even to mention that coming up with ways to keep the story/book interesting in ways that are not too short or too long. It is a lot to handle if you don’t have the right abilities or motivation to write.”

When thinking about being a writer in the future it is so extremely important to remember to keep going and pushing yourself. The only way to get out there and be noticed is to put yourself out there.