The Lure of the Writer’s Life
You know you have thought about it. What will life be like when you are a famous writer? or a rock star? or the world’s leading astrophysicist? or ________________(fill in your dream).
Will you have hours of uninterrupted time to pursue your passion? Mansions? Expensive cars? Will you be able to travel to exotic places? Will people stop you on the street and ask for your autograph?
What is your dream life?
As I have been chipping away at my publishing goals, my idea of the perfect writer’s life has crossed my mind. I can see a large, sprawling country home with plenty of sunshine-filled windows and rooms filled with books. It would have to have a screened in porch and plenty of wooded land for privacy. We, of course, would have a gardener because while I love gardening, I can’t really stand all the dirt and bugs and sweat! 🙂 Oh, and we wouldn’t want to waste time on chores, so someone to do the cleaning would be great, too. Cars have never been my passion, but I am sure my husband would love a vintage Chevy in the garage.
As far as the actual writing, I would have a fabulous old desk and chair where I would create my masterpieces. I would have publishers and an agent who looked forward to my calls. I would have a fabulous editor and publicist. I would speak at schools and have readings and book signings and the occasional television interview. And of course, I would always be witty and wise in my responses. 🙂
This is usually about the time in my fantasizing that I feel a cold slap of reality.
I am not one for being the center of attention. I would not like all the travel involved in my book tours, and I would hate being on television. I am never witty and wise when I am put on the spot like that and I fear I would come across as a complete dolt in an interview with Oprah.
The house? The house and land and car? That I could do! 🙂
So what exactly is this magical writer’s life that we are striving for? Truthfully, it probably looks a lot like the one we are living now. Many writers have day jobs and family obligations. They do not have the luxury of simply sitting in front of a keyboard for a few hours each morning and having brilliant prose pour forth onto the page. They have obligations, and they have bouts of writer’s block just like you and I.
The difference between the published writers and those of us who are still in the early stages of this writing life is that they have had their butt in the chair longer than us and they show up even when they don’t feel like it. There is no writer’s life. There is just your life.
You have to take the life you are in, right now, and fill it with what you are passionate about. You have to find what kicks your skirt up and do it again and again until it becomes woven into the very fabric of your being. Whatever dream you are waiting for you have to start grabbing for it now, in this little life. You have to guard your spare moments, as tiny as they may be, and fill them with what lights you up.
If you want to write, take each minute and let your words spill out onto the page. Worry about making them “right” later. Just get them out there. Surround yourself with books and blogs and other people who are on a creative path. Encourage them and let them inspire you. Keep putting your words out there.
That is how you create a writing life. One word at a time.