I am a writer. Really, I am. I have the paystubs to prove it (well, the e-receipts and the looming taxes). I can give you links to my published work. I can tell you honestly that I get paid to sit at my laptop and put words to page. (Maybe not these words…but some words!
And yet how I do my UTMOST BEST, at times, to act as if dragging me to the keyboard is akin to making me walk the plank, ball & chain strapped to my leg. Why is this? I love being a writer. I’ve been a writer since the 2nd grade, when I “published” (classroom project) a picture book about Hermie the hermit crab and his undersea friends. I adore creating worlds, characters, plots. (Well, I love it more when they just sort of spring fully-formed from my Zeus-like head, but you get my drift.) I LOVE getting hard cold cash (check, direct deposit, whatevs) for my writing. I mean, how cool is that, still? Chortle.
So what the hell, eh? I love writing. Let me share with you, and remind myself, why:
5) I can listen to the most disreputable music while writing, at full volume, and bother no one but the cat. She’s finicky anyway. Oh, and the dog might hide out in his “den” under the guest room bed, but he’s just unappreciative of loud noise. (Hey, I happen to enjoy Kid Rock and Eminem at certain moments. So sue me. Yes, I also listen to R. Carlos Nakai’s soothing flute music if so moved. Either way, I won’t get written up by my manager.)
4) My office view is whatever the hell I want it to be, thanks to the miracle of technology. Have laptop, have wifi card linked to my cell service, have several hours of battery power. I can sit on top of a mountain and write. And post it to the web. And, um, shop and surf at the same time. (Danger, Will Robinson, danger.) But still. My view is sublime, and I can enjoy it in my ratty old slippers and animal-hair-covered yoga pants if I so choose. It’s my office and I’ll slob around it if I want to.
3) Online support community! Gone are the days of the reclusive, lonely, hard-drinking writer. (Mm, I suppose they’re still out there…but it’s hard to be hard-drinking before noon if you have a Twitter account you need to maintain with a semblance of sanity.) I can have writerly contact any time of day or night, in any corner of the world, in any genre, right at my fingertips. Ahhh…my people. They understand characters screaming in my head, plot conundrums that twist my brain into snarly little knots, and questions about the bad guy’s virility that would raise eyebrows elsewhere. Only problem is how addictive and time-consuming these lovely communities can be…
2) It’s a total valid, utterly legitimate, and possibly tax-write-offable (hmm, and word-creationable as well) excuse to buy lots of books. Like, hundreds. Thousands, even. Can I possibly read all of them in one lifetime? I’m trying, I’m trying! I tell you, being a writer is the absolute best excuse in the universe to pump up one’s personal library. Especially, as a romance writer, those books with such delicious covers of drool-worthy heroes…excuse me, must go swoon over my TBR pile for a moment.
And (drumroll please), the Number One Reason I savor the writing life:
1) Full-bodied, rich, yet still delicate, red wine. Zesty, orgasmic-quality dark chocolate. No, no, think about the implications here: I can drink this nectar of the gods, and eat their favorite sustenance, while I’m writing for hire…which means that someone is paying me to drink wine and eat chocolate. The mind boggles. Is that not simply the craziest best reason to be a writer? Whodda thunk? I never did. But, whoo-hoo! Bring it on! I’m drinking red wine at this very moment! Eating great dark chocolate! And in another window I have open the piece I’m writing for pay. Which means that in some sort of circular motion not to be examined too closely, I’m getting money to indulge.
And that, my friends, about sums it up.
Can you top my reasons to savor the writing life? I’d love to hear them (so I can possibly expand my list, of course).