There’s the dream of being a full-time, for real writer. You know, banging out masterpieces in your tweed jacket, bent over a beat-up old manual typewriter on a sturdy wood desk, surrounded by stacks of papers and a wire waste basket overflowing with balls of wadded up pages. Or fingers tapping away on a laptop at Starbucks, lost for hours in artistic creativity as you compose that next New York Times Bestseller. If that lady who wrote those Twilight books could do it, and even that other lady who fan-fictioned Twilight into Fifty Shades of Spank did it, surely anyone can. After all, it’s just a matter of putting a whole lot of words together, and how hard can that be, really?
Well, that’s the dream. The reality is that it is damned hard. Even harder than that. Torturously, mind-numbingly hard at times, and those times are what weeds out the dreamers and the delusional optimists, leaving only those delusionally optimistic dreamers too stubborn or persistent to give up. Because writing WILL make you question your reasoning and doubt yourself. It is full of criticism (including self) and rejection. It will cut into your confidence, hobbies, time, relationships, and so on, but once you give up, it’s game over. Writing takes dreams, persistence, and a whole lot of caffeine, all in good balance. Oh, and being delusional definitely helps.
However, beyond the romanticized ideal and the gritty reality, writing offers some wonderful job perks I’m especially fond of. For example, at this very moment it is a whopping 3 degrees out, and feels like -20, according to my weather app. Yet I’m well-provisioned for the next few days, so the farthest I plan to go is out with the dogs for their walks. And that got me to thinking about some of the other benefits this job offers, such as:
— Super easy commutes. Every morning when I listen to news radio, I remind myself of that one.
— No dress code. I can wear the same ratty sweater, pajama pants, and crocs as often as I like, and no one comments.
— Every day is bring your dogs to work day. Technically, it’s bring your work to dogs, but either way you get the idea.
— My colleagues never talk when I’m writing. They do, however, interrupt me for walks.
— My colleagues never take issue with my choice of music or question my dining choices, and are happy to share lunch, be it reheated pizza, sardines, or soggy Toasty-Os.
— I get to bump off people I don’t like. Not for real, of course, but I doubt there’s a writer who hasn’t incorporated elements of certain dislikable people they’ve known into characters who meet with some form of misfortune or another. That’s why there’s always that whole disclaimer: Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Yeah. Coincidental. And very therapeutic.
— When asked what you do, being able to answer “Novelist.” Or “Crazy writer.” Or my personal favorite: “I spend my days killing fictional people.”
— It’s okay to be just a bit crazy. Writers are supposed to be crazy. I’m not saying that I wasn’t always, only that now I’ve got a good excuse.
But above and beyond all that is the writing itself. Nothing feels better than thrill when everything comes together, when you’re so wrapped up in the story there’s nothing else you would want to do get every though and word down. Over the holidays, activity interrupted my flow, and I soon became cranky and irritable. I wanted to write. I needed to write, as much to keep on a work schedule as to keep my brain from exploding. Seriously, it felt like that at times, with so many ideas backlogged in my head and on my computer. It was all coming together, so perfectly, there were catastrophically big things coming down in my imaginary world, and that’s where I wanted to be. And as soon as I post this, walk my colleagues, and then thaw my fingers around a cup of tea, that’s where I’m going.
Rex and Emma, just chilling’, literally. Loki was having none of this cold nonsense.
Emma has made it up to a whopping seventeen pounds.
Share on Facebook