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Bagels, muses, and Cornwall – the hard truth about wanting to be a writer

Yvonne Knop

By Yvonne Knop

Wikimedia Commons closeup image of several poppyseed bagels

If you want to be a published author, you need to give 100%. No, 120%. Or wait…maybe 140% if you cannot do 200%.

Here’s the tea: If you don’t have the luxury of being a full-time writer, it’s going to be hard. Harder than a one-week-old bagel. And it’s one of the many reasons people give up or become impatient and publish a half-baked something that is only a book in terms of a noun to describe the item. Devoting this much free time to something others around you describe as „just your hobby” is exhausting and often too much to handle. But as my mother always told me when I grew up: It is what it is. If you want to be a writer – step up your game and accept your miserable fate of having two jobs now. The one that brings you money and the one that – well – might bring you money. And sorry to say: might is an understatement.

I‘m a full time teacher and as a result I had to write in the evenings, on weekends, while cooking, during zoom calls – no joke – while watching TV, on the train, on planes…you get the idea. One simply doesn’t just write a book. Every book that is out there is the result of blood, sweat, tears, and a neglected significant other and/or best friend. 

Now, if you still want to be a writer and publish your book, don’t wait for a muse to kiss you because you will wait longer than for a bus in rural Cornwall. You also don’t wait for inspiration to serve a costumer – if that is your job – no, you serve them because that is your job. And so is writing – even if you’re not a professional writer (yet). Don’t waste time waiting for the muse. Just write. For your life. And don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat that bagel. You will have to edit the sh*** out of that manuscript later anyway. 

PS: The more frustrated you become, the more it’ll be tempting to pay a lot of cash for seminars, courses or whatever there is people offer to writers. There are very few exceptions (I cannot advertise here, sorry), but I know from my own experience that it’s often times not worth the money and you won’t learn anything that the internet and booktube cannot teach you.

Yvonne is a bi and nonbinary writer who dedicates their free time to extending the secret Gay Agenda – in part through their debut novel A Case of Madness. Although born and raised in the north of Germany, Yvonne’s passion for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who, their sassy humor, and aversion to talking on public transport made them suspiciously British from early on.
This blog post originally published on Yvonne's blog.
Image: Wikimedia commons

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