Sweat and Blood in a Freelance Writer’s Life

By Anu Lal

Bosom elements of a writer’s intellectual life mostly overlap into the metaphysical world. Words when dry on a paper, the writer in you feels exuberant. No doubt this feeling corresponds to your expectations on what the piece of literature you endeavoured could achieve in the future. You dream about what it would be, not what it is. This has something wrong in its essence. It negotiates with reality and puts you in the mercy of an imaginary success. This is what I meant by the metaphysical world in the beginning.

This is dangerous. It makes you lame by giving you the false hope of transformation into a successful writer.

The first step and may be the most important one, in living a freelancer’s life is to quit planting the cornerstones of your success on an imaginary plane. The only way to scratch success out in writing is to actually commit oneself into it—to write. If you dream about writing a 5000 words long short story and are available for most of the time in the cozy quadrants of laziness, you are no way going to touch the finishing line to pose for the photos at the end. Only the one who completed his race gets the chance for the final camera pose.

The winner poses in front of the camera with a smile, this smile always contains the memories of sweat and hard work. Often we see the smile and never try to feel what it means to shed sweat and blood. In a writer’s life, especially, in a freelance writer’s life, the sweat and blood are the number of words he or she bangs out in the word processor each day. The more the better. You must exercise your brain muscles, those delicate and gifted cells that control your creativity, and keep your craft in check each day.

Debutantes or experienced, the tendency to incline towards a metaphysical success are similar. However, the more experienced the more accurate your predictions become about your work. For a beginner, the best way to hold on until finally success knocks on your door is to keep away from thinking what your work would achieve rather than what your work is.

Your transformation must happen in and through your work. Just by imagining yourself to be a transformed writer can hardly get you where your real potential will. Your transformation into a successful writer must follow real work and not the ‘ought to be’ times. 

Transformation follows two different and distinct influences; influence without and influence within. It shouldn’t just be the influence within that carries a writer’s journey forward. A combination of both can only strike the right balance for a writer to achieve transformation. And therein lies the secret of success.