Each December, Yucatan’s Secretariat of Culture honors the writers of the state
Before I began writing, I would look at books in the shops and think: Why do they cost so much?
That question referred to the monetary cost I’d incur if I purchased the book… I had no idea that any other cost could possibly be involved. I certainly didn’t think about what it cost the writer to write the book in the first place. Now of course, I know about such things.
Maricarmen Perez works for the Secretariat of Culture; she has given much support to the English language writers in Yucatan
- First, the writer must come up with a great idea – a good one won’t cut it… it has to far surpass that
- The plot must be given structure, and this involves a whole set of mental gymnastics. While the characters flit from tension point to tension point, the underpinnings must be rock solid
- The hours involved are astronomical. Each page requires a huge investment of time
- Writers forego a lot of sleep
- They must often decline social events and invitations
- Writers must develop thick skins if they want to keep their self esteem intact through the critique of the early drafts
- And they must have hyper patience and consistency – for the writing, and more so during the endless editing.
- On not-so-rare occasions, the writer loses his mind! Look at some of the great ones: Lord Byron, Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemmingway – did writing drive them to madness?
The writing costs are also high for the family and friends of the writer. Writing is such a solitary occupation – done behind a closed door – phone and internet disconnected. And this goes on every day… I know that my family and friends sometimes wish I’d never got it into my mind to become a writer.
When the publishing process starts. Then a whole new ballgame begins: agent queries, publisher searches, marketing strategies, building a platform, presentations. The costs continue to pile up and up…
Some of the English language writers living in Yucatan
Maybe I’m sliding down that slippery slope towards craziness? Because to me, writing is worth the cost. And it is for my colleagues. The writing process is exciting… and publishing is a thrill… but when people read our books, and let us know they enjoy them… that’s the best.