The Working Writer on Writing and its Misconceptions

On Writing - Ernest Hemingway
The above quote is a favorite of mine. It speaks of me as a writer and how other people view me and other writers in the workplace.

As a background: I’ve been writing for a long time. Probably almost all my life. I remember getting  good grades in English writing classes when I was  in elementary and high school. I pursued journalistic writing in college, with the urging of a classmate, and joined the official student publication. Upon graduation, I worked as a copywriter before shifting to web content writing. In between, I built blogs, maintaining this one for sanity. Chos.

I don’t consider myself a really good writer; there are others who are more eloquent, who have a wider vocabulary, who can weave magic with words with careful research and planning.

And sometimes, this is the misconception about writers. That we just spit out amazingly good works in a snap. That coming up with good sentences, paragraphs, or copy is so easy for us to do.

When in fact, it’s a long creative process. That we have to get inspiration first, then find the right words, then put them all together in one cohesive, solid ball of idea.

Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it.

“Madali lang ‘yan, mabilis lang ‘yan sa ‘yo,” I’ve had colleagues tell me numerous times.

“Sulat-sulat lang ‘yan. Pwede na ba ‘yan mamaya, diba?” 

They don’t understand that ideas take a while. To brew, filter, percolate.

Not just that — writers put their minds, hearts, and souls into that one line, one paragraph. We bleed, as Hemingway would say, and put that on paper, on screens. For people to read and understand and appreciate.

We don’t just spew random words. Unless we’re sh!tdrunk and angry. Look closely at every word used and you’ll see traces of blood and sweat, sometimes tears.

Writers are a proud bunch (in a good way, I hope you get that) and we take much pride in our output. That’s why I hope people don’t see writing as something minor in a whole creative process, regardless if you believe in that 60-40 rule.

Because writing IS a creative process in itself. Something that’s hard to quantify or delimit with time.

So the next time you think writers are slow in finishing their tasks, just remember that this is a process that takes time, effort, and research to get right.

Of course, you can do it on your own. But then, that’s why you need them, right?

12 Comments

  • Janis May 4, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I feel your pain. Yes, people have to know that writing is not as simple as they think!
    Love your blog! 🙂

    Reply
  • jd Obedoza May 4, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Not a lot of people can write really well, including me. Good thing for me is that not a lot of people likes reading. Unlike you of course, yours is definitely better than mine. So just keep on writing. Have a nice day.

    Reply
    • Michelle May 5, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Thanks! I dropped by your site and I like the way you write. I like bloggers who write from the heart. You don’t need to use big words, the important thing is you communicate and reach out to your audience. 🙂

      Reply
  • kedz May 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

    You are very true there Michelle, often time we have that writers block day, nothing comes out our mind but you have to write… ahhh thats agony but its reality….and by the way hands down when you said “Writer’s Bleed” but people tend to think its easy but hell no!!, ive got lots of sleepless night and editing to do before publishing.. if they just knew BTS of it, they would appreciate us more.

    Reply
    • Michelle May 6, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      So true, Kedz. A lot don’t see the effort that comes with writing. There’s more to just churning out words. 🙂

      Reply
  • thewelldressedlie May 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Hey, don’t think that way! You’re a good writer 🙂 Compare to me, you’re really great. How I wish I’m as good as you are!

    Reply
    • Michelle May 6, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Thank you! Continue to blog and write, I always believe it’s the key to improving our craft. 🙂

      Reply
  • The Boy Disconquerer May 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve never experienced this before but people who doesn’t write thinks that it’s as easy as that.

    Reply
    • Michelle May 6, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      True. In the years that I’ve been working as a writer, it is the ones who don’t write who often think that it’s easy.

      Reply
  • theimperialsindubai May 9, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I’m speechless! I so agree on all your points. Yes, ideas are not easy to get, it’s not instant and it takes a lot of effort, hours and hours of work in order for us to publish an article.

    Reply
    • Michelle May 9, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Thanks, Rose! That’s also a reason why I don’t churn out a lot of blog posts. I’m not so keen on putting out press releases verbatim. I’d rather use my own words. Yun lang, I self-edit while writing that’s why it takes me a while to finish, hehe!

      Reply

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