Writing is haaaaard.

Today is my first post here at the SMP blog—yay! I’ve recently joined the SMP family and my paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Releasing the Demons, is slated for release (pun intended) this summer. No date yet, but you can check out the blurb here if you’re so inclined. 🙂

I won’t bore you with my backstory (although it’s interesting if I do say so myself :P), but I’m a physician-in-training by day (and night, let’s face it) and I write PNR/UF by night (or weekends/vacations mostly, ha). I try to keep both careers separate, since I tend to write about dark and controversial subjects, but there are the rare few who know both of my alter egos. As expected, people find doctoring disproportionately harder and more impressive than writing, including my family. And sure, you could say that. Doctors invest an incredible amount of time, energy, and money (LOTS of money) into our careers. We’re exhausted, overworked, and underslept. We’re drained of our physical, emotional, and psychological energy by the end of the day, but we do it ‘cause we love it. Sure, it sounds a little masochistic, but there’s nothing like saving someone’s life or improving the health of others for years to come.

But you know what?

Writing is hard too.

The act of completing a novel is grossly underestimated by those who don’t understand the process. I get a lot of “writing must be fun,” and “I’d like to write a book some day,” and yes, it’s fun, but so is extracting a clot from someone’s brain—it’s not easy. We all have our ups and downs when we open that first blank document and start typing. There are highs and lows (just like in medicine) and it drains us mentally, physically and emotionally (yep, like medicine). Don’t get me wrong, medicine and fiction are two different monsters, but you’d be surprised about the similarities. I’m sure many other careers have their own parallels, but both can be an obsession and a struggle.

Just like in first year gross anatomy, we open up that document (*cough*body*cough*) and we’re excited. We have this whole story built up inside us and we’re bursting at the seams. We’re on a roll, typing away and letting the words flow out of us (Brains! Hearts! Guts! STUNNING!).

Then we hit a wall about a third to halfway through the book and the doubts settle in (as is the case during the second year of med school, around boards time), instilling fear in all of us.

“What the hell am I doing?”

“Who am I to write this?” (Who am I to operate on/treat/take care of someone?)

“I’m just a hack and I’ll never pull this off.”

“This is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.” (I am STUPID, STUPID, STUPID).

But we power through, don’t we? We fight the angst and uncertainty and put our heads down and type (study) away. Finally, we get our groove back at the two-thirds mark (third year of med school, when we become part of the medical team). Then we’re flying high, soaring through the rest of the story ‘cause we’ve regained our confidence and inspiration, and you know what, *raises fist* “I CAN DO THIS, MOTHER[redacted]!” (yep, that’s fourth year of med school in a nutshell).

We finish our first draft (match into a residency program and graduate)! We let it cool off and revel in our success. Then we pull that manuscript back out and start the revision/editing process (residency training) and we do it over and over again until it’s the best story (skill) possible. Finally, it goes off into the universe (as attending physicians) and we make the world a better place.

Of course, throughout this whole process, we’re laughing, crying, bleeding, punching, screaming. We learn things we never knew about ourselves and reach a potential we never knew we could. We lose and gain, we kill our darlings and give others a happy ending, and we feel more complete because of it.

See? Not so different after all.

Hell yeah, writing is hard. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears and we’d do it all over again (and often do) if we could. Why?

‘Cause we’re masochists and there’s nothing in the world that makes us happier. 😉

~~~

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. 

L.D. Rose is a member of the RWA and the Romance Writers of Connecticut and Lower New York (CoLoNY). She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

To read more about her work, visit her website or say hello to her on Facebook or Twitter.

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About L.D. Rose

Physician by day, award-winning author of dark PNR/UF by night. Music addict. Wannabe superhero. Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ldrose
This entry was posted in Life-Snippets from L.D. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Writing is haaaaard.

  1. Pingback: Writing is haaaaard. | L.D. Rose

  2. L.D., you are so right! I attended a Kristan Higgins seminar this weekend where she stated the exact same sentiment – everyone WANTS to write a book, but few realize how difficult a task it is. Congrats on your upcoming release and welcome to the Soul Mate family!

    Frances Brown w/a Claire Gem

    • L.D. Rose says:

      Thanks, Frances! I hear that all the time–“maybe I’ll write book after my kids grow up”, “I’ll write a book when I’m done with such and such”, “it can’t be that hard, can it?” Ha! They have no idea. You’ll never “have time” and it’s a lot harder than you think!

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. Boy, it sure is hard! One thing I realized when I finished my first book is that getting from start to finish is HUGE…even if it isn’t quite ready for publication. So many people write a chapter or two and never get to the end. Even a book you don’t like must be given credit for taking it to completion.

    • L.D. Rose says:

      Oh yeah, for sure! Finishing a book from start to finish is a huge accomplishment in my eyes. Making it the best book you can is even more impressive. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Sharon!

  4. Great post, L.D., and I love the comparison you use between your two careers. They may be hard in their own unique way – but both are very hard for sure AND you’re doing them both so well at the same time. I give you a lot of credit. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it.

    Best of luck with Release the Demons 🙂

    • L.D. Rose says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Deb! And thanks for your kind words. 🙂 They’re both difficult, but I love them, and that’s what keeps me going.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Terri-Lynne DeFino says:

    I’ve often equated writing and motherhood. Like writer/physician, the parallels are uncanny. The key difference is that most consider BOTH my jobs to be easy, escapist, lacking in real-life hard work and education. It used to bother me. Now, it makes me laugh. Hilariously. Uproariously.

    • L.D. Rose says:

      Oh yes, Terri! I can totally see that! I think motherhood is far more difficult than being a doc and/or a writer–just the thought terrifies me, ha! And that’s complete bullshit about motherhood (or writing) being “escapist”. Personally, I think it’s FAR from it.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  6. Maura Troy says:

    Wow, you have really nailed it, L.D. Especially your list of thoughts when we hit the wall. I’ve had each and every one of those thoughts both in writing my novels, and back when I was doing a “real” job. I think the reason most people think writing is easy is because they see the writer as being their own boss. Writers don’t have to report to an in-your-face manager or adhere to pain in the ass company policies (ditto for stay at home moms, Terri). And that’s all true to a certain extent. But that doesn’t make the act of writing (or child-rearing) any easier. On the flip-side, we do get to work in our most comfortable jammies whenever we feel like it!

    • L.D. Rose says:

      Ha, Maura, I agree! Honestly, I think all of “art” is seen that way, whether it’s music, photography, writing, theatre–they’re not “real” jobs and you’re not “contributing” to society–which is a total and complete crock. Art puts the “human” in humanity, and as a hard science geek, even I can see that. 😛

      Thanks for reading!

  7. “The act of completing a novel is grossly underestimated by those who don’t understand the process.” Yes. Yes. Yes. Great post, L.D.!

  8. Welcome to SMP! Great post!

  9. Anything worth doing is worth struggling over but writing seems to demand a lot more struggle than most (except becoming a doctor). And a lot more procrastination, which you cannot do as a doctor. 😉

    • L.D. Rose says:

      LOL, Renee, there’s definitely no procrastination in medicine–not if you want to keep up! Writing does give you a bit more room, but I’m sure you have some hefty deadlines yourself. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

  10. LM Pampuro says:

    What a wonderful analogy! Writing is hard and takes a long term commitment, kind of like grad school (med school), marriage, etc. All things worth it in the end must have some sort of great effort involved, otherwise why persue it?
    Things that come easy are usually boring.
    Beautiful post L.D. and congratulations on your upcoming release!

  11. laynemacadam says:

    A great post L.D. It sure does take dedication and perseverance to keep on keeping on! I wish you all the best with your new release!

  12. I agree. Creative writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever undertaken. Including nursing and midwifery school, a residency and my doctorate. I’m a mom of three, and while that is no picnic, I loved watching them grow up (would have liked to freeze them at about age 8 when the were cute).There are no guarantees with writing, just hard work. But we do it because we have stories to tell. Enjoy the thrill of seeing your book released. I can’t wait to read it

    • L.D. Rose says:

      You definitely have a ton on your plate, Carole! I can’t even imagine throwing children into the mix. You are amazing just for accomplishing that. Thanks for the good wishes and I’m looking forward to the release. Hopefully everyone loves it as much as I do. 🙂

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