So You Want To Be a Writer . . .

If you’re one of those people who dream of getting published some day, here’s some of the true-life changes you can look forward to when that day comes (which of course it will, if you follow my writing tips!  :))  (Discovery of the day: putting a smiley face within a parenthesis doesn’t really work.)

Okay, so, without further ado:


(in no particular order):

1.  You peer at other people’s reading material on airplanes and in hotels.   Guess how often I’ve stumbled on someone reading one of my books?  I’d say roughly . . .  zero times.  But if I were Stieg Larsson (and alive), I’d be so stoked on every airplane flight!

2.  You feel a funny clenching sensation in your stomach when you walk into bookstores.  Maybe it’s just me, but bookstores aren’t as relaxing as they were before I’d gotten something published.  There’s the whole, “Are they even stocking any of my books?” issue, which usually leaves me worried and fretful and–in one memorable case–so disappointed that I ruined an entire vacation day with my bad mood, but that’s the Day that Must Not Be Discussed in our family.  And then there’s the bitter, “Everyone’s doing so damn well” feeling of seeing other people’s books on prominent display.  Not that I’m the envious type.  Not at all.  Hardly a bit.  Well, maybe a little.  Grrr.

3.  Forget about vacations.  Or weekends.  Or holidays.  If you have a deadline hanging over you, you’re going to work whenever and wherever you can.  We were just at a family reunion over the holidays and I had to beg out of all the museum trips and football games to go work in my hotel room because I had to hand something in on December 22nd.  Could I have worked harder in the days leading up to the reunion in anticipation of the deadline?  Don’t be silly.  That’s crazy talk.

4.  You can play hooky.  Unless you’re one of those writers who has a daily output (“500 words and then I’m done”)–and I am NOT one of those writers–the amount you get done on any given day is going to vary so who’s going to know if you spent all day fretting over a couple of sentences or ducked out to go to a matinee of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  (Damn it, there goes Stieg again, co-opting all the attention.)

5.  You will discover that there are times when you just can’t get anything done.  I often think about how different my life would be if I had the kind of job where you have to show up at a certain time and perform a certain task and then go home again at a certain time.  There are days when I want to write, I know I should write, I have time to write . . . and I can’t get anything done.  Usually it’s when I haven’t been sleeping (I’ve got insomniac tendencies).  But sometimes it’s just like the creative part of my brain has decided to go on hiatus for a little while.  Nothing’s working.  Nothing’s flowing. I feel like something’s frozen up there.  It’s frustrating.  And it means it’s a good day to do the laundry.

6.  Everyone assumes that he can do what you do–and do it better.  You tell people you work in a jet propulsion lab and they’re all, “Wow, that’s incredible, you’re amazing.”  You tell people you write books, and they’re all, “Oh, yeah, I’m working on a novel too.”  Admittedly, the rocket scientist is well educated in his field and anyone CAN sit down and write . . . but still.  Don’t go into this field if you want to impress people.

7.  You feel like you’re not doing enough.  There is always something more you could be doing when you’re a writer: more editing, more brainstorming, more networking, more blogging, more tweeting . . .

8. You get to write books.  That’s the good part, pure and simple.



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2 responses to “So You Want To Be a Writer . . .

  1. exactly what I anticipate my life will be like in oh, I don’t know, 5 years (to be super optimistic)
    And to be fair, everyone thinks they can do one of my current jobs (wedding planning), and no, they cannot. People are just idiots. Myself included.

  2. Claire

    I can’t imagine anything I would be worse at than wedding planning! That sounds so hard to me.

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