Part 3: Did You Really Just Ask That?

Published February 19, 2016 by Ashley Townsend

Writing is an Art, I Tell You!

Part 3: Did You Really Just Ask That?

The only good excuse a writer has for delaying a blog post is because they were, well, writing. And I was, I promise! I was busying immersing myself in Serimone and working through the final three chapters of Defying Shadows (click here)—you know, that book I was supposed to finish months ago? Yeah. . . . But fret not, eager beavers! It’s going to be worth the wait.

Now, onto this weeks writing rant.

happy dance

Last time you learned all you could ever wish to know about writers block, and while deadlines and re-writes and copy-editing can sometimes be a very necessary drag in the writing process, there are some things that just burn the proverbial biscuits of every writer (inspired by conversations with authors over the past week).

Comments/Questions authors hate the most:

  1. Oh, you’re a writer. How cute.


It’s not like I’m a professional panda hugger! (Although, dang, that job would be sweet) Whenever I hear this observation, yeah—no comment. . . . Which I see now is kind of a moot point after I commented, but we’re just going to ignore that fact for now.

  1. It’s been over a month. Are you finished with your novel yet?

for real

Oh, yes, please excuse my while I pull 400+ pages from the magical rear of the Story Unicorn, where every author stores their grand ideas that can be brought to life, macro and copy-edited, and produced in paperback in a solid 30 days.

  1. There isn’t really any money in writing, you know.


Really? Oh, I had no idea! The only reason why I’d ever pour my soul out on a blank canvas is so that I could earn massive cash and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck. I’ll just call up Michelangelo and let him know we’ve been doing it wrong. . . . Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the general picture.

  1. How hard could it be?


Considering there are a few thousand workshops and conferences each year, support groups, actual writer-themed chocolate and alcohol called “Writer’s Tears” to comfort you when you receive poor reviews, and ENTIRE boards and memes on Pinterest dedicated to the struggles of writing, I believe it’s safe to say that it can be a bit difficult at times.

  1. Can you just give me the summary of your little book so I don’t have to read it?

ron swanson

  1. Don’t you want a real job?


Yes, I have heard this before. I was very calm at the time, but let’s be honest, when you spend approximately 40,000 hours pouring every ounce of mental strength into a story that you alone created, completely draining yourself emotionally and depriving yourself of sleep for something that’s meaningful to you . . . Yes, it can be a little painful to hear that people believe what you do is sweet, too easy to be a career, or completely childish. Honestly, when did being creative mean that you weren’t an adult, or that productive imagination meant you weren’t mature? And how did daydreaming become a bad thing?! Some of the greatest minds in history were considered “creative” geniuses and dreamers. 


Some people are born with the creative gene, but so many of us have had to hone our creativity over the years, working day and night to produce something mediocre that we had to re-work again and again until we got it right. Because it was worth it.

Writing isn’t for the faint of heart, and I’m not just saying this post applies to authors alone; I can securely bet a stack of my books that at least half of you can relate to these crafty jabs in some way. And you know what I’m beginning to realize? It’s okay! I read this interesting quote the other day, and I’ll probably butcher it, but basically it said to keep doing whatever it is that makes you happy, even if others tell you that your effort is wasted or you’ll never be good enough: Passion and effort are never wasted when you’re working toward a goal that pleases God, and the harder it becomes, the more rewarding it will be in the end. So, find that niche that makes you happy and go for it. You might even surprise yourself!





3 comments on “Part 3: Did You Really Just Ask That?

  • Hey Ashley!!

    So I needed to write to you again because 1) I just wanted to say hi haha, but 2) I had to tell you how much I ADORED your post! Not only did you have both Galavant and Supernatural gifs (umm…you get a huge hug from me just by using those hahaha), but also I have several friends who are in the process of writing their own novel and it bothers me so much when people say these exact things to them! I don’t get it because why would you want to discourage someone from exploring their dream and doing something they love?! Even though I’m not an author (I’ve written short stories in the past, and have dreams of writing a novel, but the timing is off right now), I can relate to this too. I’m in school to become a Physician Assistant, and I constantly get asked: why didn’t you go to medical school? Don’t you think you’re smart enough? Isn’t a Physician Assistant just taking the easy way out? It goes on and on. So I just wanted you to know that your post was awesome and I’m in complete agreement with your advice. You have to do what you love, and don’t let other people get in your head that your dream isn’t a “good dream” to have. We all need to keep that creativity and fun in our lives, so no matter what we do, we should always be supporting each other!

    With that being said, congrats on writing the last chapters of Defying Shadows !!! I’m so happy for you and even though I’m sure there is a lot more work to be done before it finally gets to all of your fans, I know that the wait is definitely worth it 🙂 I can’t wait to see how the series will end and what will happen with all of my favorite characters!! I don’t know if you have any beta-readers, but if you’re looking for one, I would love to do it! I hope that isn’t too forward or anything, but I am so excited for this book haha! So please don’t think I’m using your kindness with talking to fans to try and read an early copy of the book!

    I hope you have a great day and always remember how much you’ve accomplished so far! Hope to hear from you soon 🙂



    • Dean and Galavant are basically my heart and soul! You should definitely check out my Pinterest link, because my presence on there is basically to just circulate fandom pins and Galavant gifs. 😄
      And hearing that this topic was well-timed and encouraged you makes me so happy! I’ve never quite understood how unsupportive peopld could be until I decided on a career outside of the box (alongside school and my other job, which is very A-typical!). Being a physician’s assistant is a ton of work and amazing, Cassie! That’s why I decided to even write this post, because I had heard not only these specific questions, but similar ones for other careers. It just made me realize that you can’t please everyone and shouldn’t try; if you’re applying your passion in good ways, then nothing but success to you.
      Thank you, thank you, thank you! It sounds so silly to say that I cried while writing the entire epilogue, because there was such mixed sadness and joy for these characters that have let me be a part of their lives for a decade. But it was also a beautiful moment to know that everyone’s story is complete. Mixed emotions!😭 Haha. And I would LOVE to have you as a Shadow!(beta-reader) It’s going to be in pretty bad shape, but I’ll shoot you a copy this week with some questions.
      Thanks for the encouragement, girl, and just remember that I wrote this series to remind people that nothing is impossible and there is more bravery inside each of us than we realize.


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