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  • Writer's picturefionaainamurphy

Writing from the heart

As the fire raging around the CopyPasteCris clusterfuck begins to die writers, real writers, are still simmering with anger. The reasons feel almost too many too many to count but I'm going to attempt to break it down because it's important for readers and writers to understand. 

1. Writing is HARD. To sit down and create something from nothing, figuring out that first paragraph, the opening line, how to move your character across the room, how to turn "It was scary." to "Heart racing, the fine hair along his neck stood up as sweat began beading along his forehead. His lungs grew tighter with every breath, was what he seeing real?" Isn't easy, it becomes more as you do it over and over, with every book, as the pages build, as the words go from 50 thousand to five hundred thousand under your fingertips. If you think anyone can be a writer, I'm going to challenge you. Sit down, open up a word document and write just five thousand words about anything, your day, the new puppy you bought. Five thousand words, make it interesting, take it from it was scary to something that the reader feels. A writer has to do that for 50k words, at least. Could you really do 50k words????

That's the thing, the most important thing. Making your reader feel. It takes writing with your whole heart. It sounds corny as fuck but it's just that simple, just that real, just that fucking hard. We have to be in love with our characters, we have to care, we cry when they cry and if we don't then the reader knows, the reader won't cry, they won't care about our characters. Here's the thing, we kind of can't help ourselves, we put so much time into what we do it's a waste to not make it mean something. 

So for someone to use a ghostwriter working for ten cents an hour to pump out a story and put their name on it to just to cash check when they didn't put in the work, when they don't care about creating a world for their reader to get lost in, that's bullshit. 

2. Creating a false sense of the time it takes to create a new story from start to finish. When using ghostwriters who sit down and push out a story in two to three weeks because they write: I was scared, he is sexy. 

There's no sense of writing a scene where you deliberate over every sentence, picking, deleting, writing as you go then rereading and finding better words, cutting a sentence only to decide you do need it after all but figuring out how to write it better. It might take a half hour or an hour to write a thousand words the first time but to refine, clean it up, it might take another hour or two. Will every one thousand words written take another hour or two to make perfect? Not always but for some writers it very well might. And those writers should get the time they need to write the story they want. It has THEIR name on it, they are OWNING the story, THEIR story and whether it takes them three weeks or three months to write they should be able to have it. 

But when people use multiple ghostwriters and push out books every month readers think why can't this writer get me a new book every month? Again, writing is hard and it takes time to make the very best story we can write. 

3. Buying your way into anything is offensive to those who actually put in the work. I'll say it, I'm fucking offended by people who call themselves writers when they pay someone else to do the writing. For all the reasons listed above. If you didn't sit down and create something from nothing, then you aren't a writer. If you pay someone else to do the writing and you publish it under your name you are lying. You aren't a writer, you're a publisher by pure fucking definition. 

4. When I put my whole heart into my stories I'm giving up a little part of who I am to do it. As Virginia Woolf said: Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works. 

My hope is for the connection of readers who recognize a part of themselves. Dreams they have, fears they've experienced, anger they felt. Giving up a part of myself isn't easy and I don't know if any amount of money will ever pay me back for what I lose. 

5.  Those people who put their name on something someone else wrote will never know what it feels like when a reader contacts them and tells them they loved the story. The reviews that say they can't wait to read the next one, that give love to something you wrote means everything. Those fake writers might be lucky enough to get those reviews or the emails but they didn't earn so it means nothing. 

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