So I started writing this post in the morning, and it totally wasn't coming out like I wanted. I've deleted like three versions. They sounded accusatory, a little mean. That is not how I want to put this, because I have been there—and go back there more than I'd like.
Sometimes we spend a lot more time acting like a writer instead of actually being a writer, if that makes sense.
Being a writer is, well, about writing. Plain and simple. The rest is extra—from networking to socializing to agents to publishing to lists and awards. It seems at times people want the "stuff" that comes with writing without actually being serious about writing.
I certainly don't want to point fingers. I am not saying anyone I know is like this. I've just been thinking about my own feelings lately. Whenever I get really down, I hate to admit it's usually because I'm looking at what I don't have as a writer. It's like I care more about my name on a book instead of how great the story is inside.
So not proud of that.
Then I slap myself out of it, appalled. What am I thinking? Is that why I'm writing? Is that what makes me happy when I write? Funnily enough, the more I think about The Stuff the more I hate writing! The less I get done! It's because I put the cart before the horse.
But when it comes down to it, none of that really matters. I know, here I am blogging and saying stuff doesn't matter. I guess I'm saying it's all icing. Yeah, icing is fine on its own, but you can only get so much from icing (like a raging sugar buzz and a stomach ache).
Writing good books is the cake, the substance. If you throw amazing frosting on a cardboard cake—it's still a cardboard cake. You're not fooling anyone. But if the cake is good? It stands on its own; maybe you don't even need frosting. I mean, sure, frosting is always a nice compliment, but good cake is what keeps people coming back.