Writers lead glamorous lives. We’re rich, for starters. Second, we sit around acknowledging our adoring fans, who stand in line for city blocks while we pen our names on the inside cover of the book they just love, love, love. In our down time, we scribble out another book, before we’re off to do whatever the hell we want.
Riiiiight. Then we wake up, and the moment the sleep faeries release their hold, we’re thinking how we’re going to juggle all we have to do in a day. We’re not rich, for starters. Most of us have to hold down regular jobs to pay the bills. Second, if we’re sitting around it’s because we’ve greedily carved out a half-hour of uninterrupted time to actually write. Sometimes it’s not to create either, but to market our names and books. No mile-long lines of adoring fans for us.
Scribbling out that next book? We’re doing that at 11 p.m. when the rest of the household is asleep. It’s the only time we have where we’re not getting pulled into one million different emergencies of daily family life. Then we’re up again at 4 a.m. for some quiet creative writing before the devilish demands stir for another day.
If that’s glamour, then I need to double-check my dictionary, and question my thesaurus.
Yet, somehow we manage to fabricate fantastical worlds and characters, all of them as real to us as dust bunnies under the bed. Perhaps our hectic and exhausting lives are precisely why we’re so good at escapism. We need these fictional worlds in order to keep on keeping on. They are the rich blood that nourish us, giving our grinding lives the verve we all crave. You might read them, but we get to write them.
Every time we escape into our stories, we authors get the back road tour. We get a view of the bones, the scraps. We know our characters intimately, and sometimes in those midnight deliriums of writing we’re living vicariously, as absorbed in a scene as the players in it, our pulses racing, our skin electric with anticipation, too.
These are the moments that keep us going. As is the dream of not just getting rich, but of doing whatever the hell we want, of not having to carve out that half-hour to write, but to indulge the full day. Will it happen? Possibly not, but there’s always the maybe, the dream we’ve reached for that just might come true if we hang in there.
So, we test our mettle, see if we’re on this steaming train for the long haul. What we will discover on this journey is whether we have the iron and steel to lay the seemingly endless track.
Thank the Great Conductor we have our midnight snacks served to us as delicious scenes and scrumptious heroes.