The writing-not-easy thing, part the millionth

Yes, again! What of it? I promise this will be the last whingeing-about-writing post. Truly.1

I think I’m still in shock that my job is not always a doddle. You see, I fully expected that it would be.

Let me explain:

A full-time novelist is all I’ve ever wanted to be. Obviously the main reason I wanted to do it is because I’ve always loved telling and writing stories and I’ve done it since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. But I also kind of figured that it would be easier than any other job. Writing stories was fun. Something I did when I wanted to take a break from the onerous crap that I had to do. Surely doing it most of the time would be even more fun?

I imagined my life as a full-time novelist would involve never having to get up before noon, writing only when I felt like it, never being stressed, six-figure advances for every book, mangosteens for every meal, and walking on rose petals while fairy dust fell from the sky.

None of this has happened! NONE of it.2

I’ll admit that my job is not as hard as some people’s. I’m not down a coal mine. I’m not in a war zone. I don’t run the risk of death or injury very often—though paper cuts can be nasty.3 Many people work way harder than I do. Like my sister, who does 3,000 hour a week in dark rooms, making everyone in Hollywood’s hair look real, and the monsters look super scary.4

What was I saying?

Oh, yes, I thought writing would be the easiest job on the planet and I’d never have to work hard. So every time I do have to work hard it’s a horrible shock. Thus my whingeing.

Though it probably is the easiest job on the planet, which leads me to the depressing thought that no job is without hard bits. How unfair is that?

  1. Though I am writing a novel about a compulsive liar so I could be practicing. Plus all I’m doing right now is writing. What the hell else do I have to blog about? []
  2. Though I do occasionally get to eat mangosteens. []
  3. Not to mention RSI and back pain. []
  4. Or something. I’m never entirely clear on what exactly Niki does. []


  1. lili on #

    Yes. I became a writer because I like writing. And then, when I’m in the midst of edits and deadlines and EVERY. WORD. HURTS… then I think…

    I like other things, too, apart from writing.

    Like shoes.

    Why don’t I just give up the writing and have a nice, simple job selling shoes?

    Shoes are nice. Shoes don’t make me want to hide under the kitchen table and cry.

  2. Jenny Davidson on #

    What, it’s not all mangosteens and fairy dust? NOOOOOooooooooo…..

    (I have been enjoying these posts, I am trying to get properly dug in with the new book and it has NOT quite happened yet, must buckle down!)

  3. Patrick on #

    Niki is a compositor. Clearly, she composts.

    Do you have a book due or something? Have you considered learning to use photoshop?

  4. Julia Rios on #

    Writing is definitely not the easiest job on the planet. Having an easy job can be dissatisfying, though, and dissatisfying is worse than hard in my opinion. Also, surely a brief stint of walking on rose petals while fairy dust falls from the sky could be arranged. I refuse to believe that it couldn’t.

  5. jess b on #

    Boo for jobs with hard bits.

    I started work at a new job about 4 months ago and it was all hard. Now it is just hard sometimes.

    Think of the fantabulous pay off you get for all the hard work though Justine – people love your work!

    PS Yay for your sister who worked on a Harry Potter movie and on a Pirates of the Caribbean movie – how very cool!

  6. jess b on #

    Odd coincidence – I’m reading the archives of Libba Bray’s blog and found this:

    A post about how difficult writing can be sometimes!

    Hopefully, this gives you some extra-strength Justine, knowing that even awesome people like Libba struggle sometimes.

    I know that knowing that awesome people like you struggle sometimes will help me when I hit a rough patch 😉

  7. Chris S. on #

    I suppose it’s no comfort to say that your suffering is our gain, eh?

    But it is…

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