Written by John Edward Betancourt

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I like it when life surprises you with something so pleasant that it reaffirms the choices you have made and I had one of those sweet little surprises this past weekend when I had the opportunity to sit down and be interviewed by a local film student. It was a first for me, and a humbling experience to say the least simply because I was terrified initially that I had nothing to offer to this young man about writing as a whole, but it turns out that I did.  I had in fact learned much in the last few years when it came to writing, and at one point I expressed to the young man who interviewed me, I wish I had someone to offer some advice to me on writing when I first set out. 

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of what I offered in the interview because it was a fine reminder for me why I get up every single morning to put words to paper, and maybe someone out there in a tough spot can use it to help them get back on track.  So here are some of the things I've learned from writing.

I've learned first that this is one of the loneliest ventures a man or woman can go on.  When the time arrives to put words to paper, it is just you and the story. Doesn't matter if someone is in the room or even nearby, the only person writing the story is you and that makes for a scary journey, simply because of the fact you are creating something out of thin air.  You don't know if it is good, you simply have to rely on blind faith, that is until you let someone finally read what you have created. 

I've also learned that patience is key to writing. There will be times the story isn't coming out of you as fast as you might like, and taking a moment to step away from the story and give it a minute to grow is just as important as the patience one has to exhibit when the story is complete. The creative process when it comes to selling the product is a long one. After all, it takes time to get a story to publication or production and as much as one would like to turn in their manuscript or screenplay on any given evening and wake up the next morning and see it in theaters or on shelves, it will never work that way.  It's best to move on to the next project and wait for the phone call.  

After all, writing is through and through, a labor of love. One has to love everything about it, simply because there is little glamour when it comes to writing. There seems to be a perception that writers sit down, bang out one hundred pages an hour and send it off to publishers when they are done and bask in the glory as it heads to stores.  Truth is, it's hours upon hours of work, filled with setbacks and the word "no" at every turn. One has to believe in the work, in the art and the magic of storytelling, and while it may seem like from reading this that writing looks difficult and scary and perhaps is not worth it...well, that's simply not the case.

You see, every single second of writing is worth it because for every "no" that you hear...someone will eventually say yes. For all of the patience you have to give to the process, the wait is worth it to win an award or hear from the publisher or producer that your story is about to come to life, and that someone loved reading it along the way.  All of those moments make the long nights worth it, make all the times you were worried seem silly, because creating a story is one of the greatest experiences I've ever enjoyed in my life and once you get a taste, there is no going back.  It's simple really, I've learned that writing is an incredible adventure.  One that I wouldn't trade for anything in this world, and one that I simply cannot get enough of.

 


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