Mid-Week Blog: The Baker's Dozen on Being a Writer
For the blog this week, I'm chock full of reasons why I love being a writer.
1. You can do it anywhere...at home, at the library, in the parking lot of Mariano's, in the living room, in a home office, on the train, internationally, in Nashville, in the bathroom, on your phone, on a tablet, in a notebook with a pen (or at work, shhhhh). The possibilities are endless.
2. You can drink on the job! A glass of wine while writing the moment your heroine meets the hero? Sure. A nice chamomile tea to celebrate the villain's demise? Why not. A glass of bourbon as you write the sex scene...whatever "gets you in the mood." LOL.
3. There's no dress code. There's nothing wrong with wearing fuzzy slippers and pajamas while writing, unless you're in public. That's why I made myself a home office.
4. You get to exercise your "right-brain". Writing is hard work. Don't let anyone tell you different. But...it's also very fulfilling. At my day job, I manage the calendar of a high-level executive. It's like a daily game of Tetris where the pieces are time blocks. Writing lets me stretch a creative muscle that sits dormant most of the day.
5. You can be your own boss. You can create your own deadlines, give yourself a day (or sometimes, months) off. You can also chastise yourself when you're being lazy. Yell at yourself when you know you just wasted an hour watching makeup tutorials on YouTube when you should have been writing.
6. You get to kill people! The only way to do it legally, really.
7. You can join a group of like-minded writers. I recently joined the local chapters of Romance Writers of America. What an awesome opportunity it is to have people around you who can share their experiences, their work, and have gone through the same writing struggles you might be going through.
8. You can live vicariously through your characters. You'll never see me jumping out of a plane, or strapping a gun to my thigh under a skirt, or singing onstage...but my characters do it, and they do it so much better than I could. When I put my rock star heroine in front of a screaming audience, I can pretend what it's like to strike the chords on a guitar and sing songs people love.
9. You get to work alone. I find I'm most productive, locked in a room alone, thinking up stories. No one to bother me, tell me what to do, or how to do it. I don't have to share, cooperate, or pretend I know what's going on with Dancing with the Stars.
10. The joy of research. There's nothing like deep-diving into a character's life, what they do, where they work, where they live. Learning about a career, how to field strip a gun, or visiting the location where the story takes place, can be a great way to develop a character. Most of my research happens online, but I do have the rare occasion to interview people. Recently I interviewed a psychologist in an effort to help develop a character who has PTSD. It was extremely helpful.
11. You can share it with the world or lock it in a drawer. There are things I've written that will never see the light of day or another pair of eyes.
12. You get to connect with an audience. Knowing people out there read the words you toil over and understand (and maybe even enjoy) the result, is so fulfilling. Sometimes that audience consists of other writers who share tips or can commiserate with you on struggles and successes.
13. You just might change someone's life. I've read so many comments on book reviews where the reader has told the author "you brought joy to my life in a tough time." A book can be an escape, an adventure, a reassurance you're not alone. I, too, have read many a novel and walked away a better person, or at least a more fulfilled person, because I've read it. A book can take you away from the shit-storm your life might be at the time and transport you into another world.
What do you love about being a writer?