9.16.2005

I Would Resign

Who wouldn't want to be a writer?

It's a glamorous lifestyle, right? And easy.

After all, people pay ridiculous sums of money for writers to daydream and commit to paper whatever comes to their head. Then, in the evenings and on weekends, writers jet set around the world, sipping champagne and taking fabulous cross-country vacations in between book signings and talk show appearances.

If only that were the truth.

The reality is countless hours spent staring at a computer, banging one's head against brick walls, agonizing over word choices, character decisions, trying to decide when a work of fiction has crossed boundaries that it should never cross, writing, reading, editing, rewriting, rereading, and editing just a little more while losing sleep because the muse has turned off your internal clock and forgetting to eat. It's a destructive, repetitive lifestyle. And all of this before the work is ever submitted, before it risks rejection, before it ever earns one cent towards purchasing a package of macaroni and cheese for the writer to wolf down between writing bouts.

Some of us would resign, throw up our hands and quit, but we're not allowed. Our friends, our fellow writers, the voices in our heads, the stories we are destined to tell won't let us. So, we plod on, losing track of days and weeks and the seasons and hoping that one day, someone, somewhere will read what we've written and that it will touch an emotional core of their being. And maybe, just maybe, they'll pay us for the privilege, at least enough for another box of mac & cheese.

5 Comments:

Blogger jason evans said...

Geesh, you folks are bringing me down!

Seriously, though, writing is like an illness, isn't it? We want to create those little worlds so much we just plow through the sacrifices and pain.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Sounds like paranoia induced by sleep-deprivation to me.

I know when the writing is going really, really well, I usually can't sleep. Or don't sleep. Or sleep but don't seem to experience REM. Eventually the body and the mind start to rebel and weird thoughts pop into one's head. I've heard other writers talk about similar experiences, too.

Haven't you experienced that yet, Jason? If not, it's something to look forward to. ;)

10:49 PM  
Blogger jason evans said...

I wish I were one of the those writers who gets rooted in front of a keyboard and time just rolls by. Unfortunately, once I write a page or two, I feel drained, like I need a break. I need more discipline, I guess. My mind is whirling fast, but the words assemble themselves on the page so slowly. It's frustrating.

Maybe someday I'll have insomnia because I'm so inspired. I'll look forward to that (I think....)

6:13 AM  
Blogger DIE! DIE! said...

If you're having problems sleeping, maybe you should buy some champagne instead of mac and cheese;)

9:07 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Oh. Intoxicated and sleep deprived. What a combination. :)

1:05 PM  

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