Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This is a Job.

Well, so I'm finally blogging after almost a month and it's mostly just to bitch and complain, but it's my blog and I can cry if I want to.

Have you ever noticed that when you tell someone you're a writer, they either ask (with an amused titter), 'Oh, well, do you have a real job?' or get super excited because all the 'free time' you have during the day could be used to help them out with stuff (i.e. crap they don't want to do but figure you can do since you spend your days thinking and eating bonbons whilst reclining in front of the TV). Yes, it is nice to have a flexible schedule--I can take a break to go to doctor and dental appointments, school functions, or tend to the responsibilities that fall into my lap as a military spouse--but that doesn't mean I don't actually work. I take writing very seriously. On a regular day, I sit down at the desk at 7 in the morning (after running 6 miles, mind you, so there, motherfuckers who think writers are inherently lazy) and don't leave it again until at least 5, depending on when I need to pick Kiddo up from school. I eat 2 out of 3 meals at my desk; I sit there even when I'd rather be doing anything else in the world, including laundry. On the weekend, I do all the shitty domestic things I put off all week so I can focus on writing. Do I get paid? Not yet. But does a stay at home mother get paid (hey, I'm one of those too!)? Nope, and that's a legit job too, and a damned hard one. But for some reason, if I can't show folks a book with my name on it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble or a current paycheck, I should explain why I'm wasting my time. Of course, people don't actually say this outright, but that doesn't mean the sentiment doesn't come across. Because it does. Loud and clear.

There's also an attitude of, 'Hey, if you aren't published by now, why keep trying?' Uh, because quitters never win and winners never quit, or whatever. Didn't you learn that as a child? Weren't you on a sports team of some sort? Didn't you ever see an inspirational movie about a group of underdogs finally succeeding after lots of hard work and good old fashioned determination? Come on! My parents didn't raise no giver-uppers. And how many of my friends and family are working in jobs they despise? Jobs they wish they could quit so they could pursue things they actually like and care about? That's what I get to do every day! I love writing. I think about it all the time and even when it annoys the fuck out of me, I couldn't imagine giving it up. One day, I will get paid for it. Maybe this year. Maybe five years from now. But it will happen. I don't need to make a million dollars (not turning it down, though, so, you know...), but it would be nice to make a legitimate living at it. The people that matter to me believe in this stubborn dream of mine right along with me, but why do so many others discount endeavors that don't immediately produce hard cash? Is that what's important, ultimately? I think not. All this is just a long way of saying, look, I don't rain on your parade, so don't rain on mine. Not my fault I actually enjoy my parade...


  1. Welcome to my world, I feel your pain. I was a nurse until recently and I am trying my best to get paid work somewhere else. But all I have ever wanted to do is write. To me it's like breathing. It's in my blood. I may have to go back into nursing soon. I hate it. It doesn't tick any boxes. I wasn't born to be a nurse but i was born to write.

    Will I ever get a publishing deal. Will I ever be the English Stephen King or the next J K Rowling?

    I just know I need to write. But the world is telling me I need to do a regular job.

    1. I can certainly identify with you. I worked quite a few jobs I hated, mostly because, like you, I knew what I wanted to do with my life but also needed cash to live. I'm lucky to have a freakishly supportive husband, but there are still plenty of haters out there. All we can do is keep chugging along and putting words on the page. SK and JK Rowling were where we are once. Hard to believe, but true. :)