The pain of being a writer – Self-torture, affliction and desolation

Been two weeks that I quit my full time job, been two weeks that I turned a full time writer, been two weeks that I received 400 odd likes for that “Left my job” post on Facebook. But, it’s been a while that I took this decision and I wanted to give this a shot. A leap that was unexpected and a step that is supposed to feed my soul.
I am a complete weirdo – I don’t know what I want. It takes me a slip to understand it, be it the unwanted B.E degree or the choice of choosing the only choice I had – IT field that fed my wants, a relationship where I didn’t have an expectation, but ended up being treated wrong which apparently led to a list of expectations that I should have probably had up front. So I am a mess! I don’t know when I thought or started believing that “Writing is my calling” – nevertheless, that’s my solace. The white blank MS word with which I am “me”
I would now miss the smile when my bank account gets credited, I can no longer scroll the online shopping apps and order clothes of my choice, I can no longer go out with friends and spend for myself, I can no longer buy my own books but look for eBooks and Torrents to download, I can no longer get back to the lavishing me again. I can no longer walk with heads held high, calling myself a career oriented woman. I have lost it all, in one decision of mine.
Ever since, slowly the pain has started catching more fire. From the one who decided to quit my job for writing – I turned the one who is not writing at all except for a few micro tales and yes, I chose to freelance. Freelancing for money – spend hours writing on stuffs that are totally unrelated and out of the blue – bingo games, sex toys, drug trends in Philadelphia. I do write, but goddamn, it makes no sense to me.
What will I do? I have to pay for my editor who will clean my pathetic grammatical errors and let my manuscript shine, I would never let my book reviews to have “Pathetic editing” as a frown factor. How will I pay them? I have to pay my cover designer who spent hours illustrating what’s in my mind and how I will I ever pay? And oh, the marketing guys who tweet and Facebook about my book – how on Earth will I pay the big fat money? Oh! But for all this, my book should get published.
How will I turn off my friends who would ask for free books. “I need an autographed copy,” how sweet of a way is it to ask for a free book? Well, am a budding author, I can’t shamelessly ask them for money, they are going to spend time with my books out of the million books available on Amazon.
How will I pay the courier? How will I pay for the PR guys? – Everything about publishing my book is about money except for returns. I laughed out loud when a website that self-publishes book read “Usually the author gets 20 INR for each copy that gets sold, but since we distribute it across, it is better if the author bids lesser for their royalty” Isn’t it funny? I would spend my whole freaking time, writing – deleting – writing again – deleting again – writing. And then shape it better – shape it much better – shape it to the best of my capabilities. And send it to my editor – fight with the editor like crazy and get the best freaking manuscript, but then make 20 INR for every copy sold. Am not Chetan Bhagat to sell  a million copies, I am not sure if any traditional publisher would ever accept to publish my book, am not sure how many know me as an author, maybe! Tomorrow even if I cross my own book at a bookstore and wait for hours, I would still not met anyone who picks my book. Oh my God! Am I a failure? Did I turn down a job that paid half a lakh per month for this?
In want of money – will I ever write only about online frigging games for life? In want of readership – will I stick to publishing books churning my own money? In want of friendship – will I stick penning leave letters and love letters to all my friends. Will I only be a freaking showoff material of my friends who say that they know an author?
Am afraid – what if my posts offend someone? Am afraid – what if someone points a grammatical error in this post, it would affect my reputation. Am a freaking writer – I can’t make mistakes, can I? What if I offend every other person?
Am torturing myself with these questions. This isolates me! I spoke out, I told my friends – “Get married,” they say! Marry a rich fat guy who will feed not just me, but even my publishing dreams? Oh yes! What if he loves me enough to start a publishing company himself? Oh wait, how about dating a publisher itself? Or an editor? Or a cover designer? – Oh, these freaking thoughts! How can I just get married to stay fed. Dad feeds me, yes! What if he falls sick? What if I had to take a stand? What did ‘writing’ do to me? Pain, pathetic pain!
Why did I write this post though? Did I take the wrong decision? Why is ‘writing’ not paying my house rent? Why are authors in movies and books turn bestsellers’ and millionaires? Wont I ever make it big? Will my next generation know me as an author! Oh my family tree, if you ever feel that you have a flair for writing – kill that thought instantly. Don’t be a frigging failure!
Phew! Writing this made me feel better – off to writing about some online bingo games, yo!
Done ranting!
Author-Writing-Blogger – In short: A piece of shit!
–Kavipriya Moorthy

23 thoughts on “The pain of being a writer – Self-torture, affliction and desolation”

  1. There is so much instore in you and I can understand this state of mind.. Though my mentors always taught me to keep writing on number two so that I can have a good earning and moreover, i can do justice to my writing. Writing is never done forciby. It is from your heart.. If you have the portential you will do it.. trust me.. it will happen, just stay positive. If you have chosen a path just go through it, don’t’ regret.. as someone says, life is too short for regrets. Start your research, make a strategy..and talk to me.. you will get lots of positivity doses and you will feel better.. stay blessed and keep writing, you why? Because you are brave and a fighter who took up this decision which many people don’t !!


  2. Except for the part where you are ‘officially’ a freelancer, and hence getting paid for a few random writing projects, the rest of it is all about me. As I read through the article, I was wondering how, why and when did you get into my head. (just like you, relaised Engg isn’t for me, got in hotel mgmt,, quit in November after 7+ years of working in hotel sales, finally realized writing was my calling) I totally relate to this.
    Thanks for making me feel better through this . Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s safe to say that you are not alone. We all have felt similarly at some point. In fact, while not probably in the exact same words, I’d written a ‘Can I confess?’ post which helped me see things a bit more clearly.
    Will we all make careers from writing? Probably yes. Will we all make those millions? Probably not.
    But continue to write. Sometimes, we HAVE to write about those bingo games and the rest to get some money in the bag. Think sponsored posts. But as long as you keep writing other things – blog/ manuscript/ columns – you’ll always keep that fire alight.
    Good luck, Kavipriya.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Kavi,

    I could relate to every word of this. Never wrote on drug users in Philadelphia, but wrote on at least ten thousand types of tattoos, till they became a part of my nightmare. So what did I do? I stopped. Pronto. The peanuts they were paying me were anyway not feeding my belly. And neither soul. I de-activated all my accounts in the content mill sites. Started subscribing to meaningful blogs, pitched in to news papers, spread a word in my circles that I do freelance writing. Now a few startus have approached me. The middle men commission is no longer there. I listen to the owner’s voices , their tales and the dreams they have for their brand and together we write. Do not exhaust yourself on inane issues. You have fire within you. Keep it burning. Love and hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hello Kavi!

    I could relate to every word that you wrote. Except that I did not write on drug users of Philadelphia. I wrote on tattoos instead. Thousand of them till they became a part of my nightmares. Oh I wrote a few hundred blog posts on some exotic South Asian herb too. But as you said. The pay was pittance. It neither fed my body nor soul. So I stopped. But it made no difference in my lifestyle because I was already without salary after giving up my well paying job. So I could not be more broke or less broke or whatever it is called. 🙂

    However during this time, I did a thorough introspection. I decided “writing” for the sake of writing was not meant for me. For me ultimately being a writer entailed creating something of value or substance.

    So I started my novel. I started taking editing jobs. I learnt how to pitch for magazines. I began to talk to people. And being an introvert, this was tough. But it helped. Now I don’t write much.I work with a couple of start ups. I resolved to eliminate middle men from my life. I de-activated my accounts from content mill sites. I started looking up newspapers and magazines instead. Finally writing no longer appears lonely to me. It is something I own, not in materialistic terms perhaps, but in a more intangible but embracing way.

    You have fire within you. Let it not be extinguished. Love and Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a heartfelt post. I felt everything that you were going through. The self-doubt, the anxiety that comes with publishing and the fear, oh the dreadful fear of having to write odd articles all life long.

    I’m happy that you ended the post in such a positive note. I was afraid that it was going to lead into a question, but I’m glad you put an end to the rant. That shows you’ve accepted things as is. And that’s the way to go, girl.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have my total sympathy. Vanity publishing (what an author disparaging term) is going to kill good literature because it allows only the monied wannabe authors to publish. Regular publishers look for not good literature but formulaic books that will sell. The Internet has resulted in millions of content creators but few, thoughtful content consumers. Hopefully, everyone will come to their senses sooner rather than later and the dust will settle. By the way, I self-published on Kindle (one of the boons of the same Internet) and allowing my book to sell (or not) on its own merits. I have no idea how the book’s performance compares with other self-published books but right now, I am just happy that people who have read A Dance with the Corporate Ton seem to have liked it:)
    That said, writers need to earn to live. So, yes, money is important. Sad, isn’t it that writers are a poorly paid lot?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Kavipriya,
    I don’t know u much, so whatever I say here may not b rite for u. If it so, then jus ignore it 🙂
    Dear, my advice for u is get a job!! Not the same old IT job, but something related to writing. I am saying this not bcos money is important but job itself is. There r numerous publishing houses n they r all in dire need of staff to read the numerous submissions which they are supposed to read and filter out the best ones. U can get one such job. Reading, writing n still working!! There are other opportunities to get job in the writing field. May be you would not get t salary which u were getting earlier, but something is better than nothing. I appreciate that you had quit something that u did not like n ve got got the courage to follow ur dreams. But soon u need to find a replacement job so that u wud ve everything, (time, money, self-esteem, etc) to pursue what u wanted. Get a job, a good paying job in the writing field!! Jus think in these lines dear…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kavipriya, I get you. And I really admire your courage. you went out and quit your job. i like to believe I am a writer. I can assure you that you are not alone in your struggle.. life of the aspiring writer sucks! no doubt about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Self doubt is tightly coupled with the human Dna. .. Good that you let it out.. Wishes for success close to your heart and more peace of mind…take a deep breath…. Relax

    Liked by 1 person

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