#iwritebecause #whyiwrite #Imawriter
The image people have of you when you introduce yourself as a writer is either A. Hundreds of published books like Dean Koontz, a movie deal like J.K. Rowling and a sweet pad with a super cool writing library next to a cozy fire. Or B. You live with your parents. And C. You must sit in your pajama’s and drink coffee all day and like….not really do much, maybe play video games. Your home is dark and messy and you drink…a lot. Coffee by day…booze by night.
Not so not so not so! I stamp my foot in frustration.
Not entirely since I do know a few who perfectly fit the above three images.
But I know more who don’t, myself included.
Writing is a job that I (we will go ahead and speak for the I and leave out all the other possible categories) take very seriously. I had written and published for years. My first was a series of poetry of the Autumn weather in books and literary magazines at age twelve and thirteen. I went on to write police news and politics in Los Angeles and had a series of a Devil’s Advocate Column for a time on the subject (LA, the home of people who like to run from cops and cops who beat them down). Now I come from a place on that subject where if I ran from my mother I was whipped all the while her saying ” it’s only worse because you made me run” adrenaline pumping. (FYI, don’t attempt to disrespect mothers all of a sudden at age thirteen, that tiny midget of a person is a lot stronger and faster than you think and has the devil inside her in a moment like that and will beat your ass real good….completely deserved. Also there was no attempt at defending…this is your Ma and you just said your first cuss word….at her…it’s going down.) But now, twelve years after I wrote that column…police beat the standing not moving and shoot them in the back. Seriously guy’s…there is adrenaline…and there is plain stupid and I know this could be cleaned up…a lot. When cop’s become criminals we are only in Natzi War Germany all over again. Now don’t get me wrong. I was married to a cop once and the things that poor man had to go through. Jumping ten foot stone walls, into yards with dogs and a man with a machete,coming home completely wounded. The things he saw on a regular basis and the time he had me go pick things up for a child he was taking to it’s grandmother that was taken out of a horrific home scene. And cop killing gang members, taken down personally in an attempt to kill another, without guns, weapons or beating either. Coming home to our door open and home invaded and death threats on the answering machine (had one of those once) Enough to break a man mentally and physically. So there are two sides of a coin and the good and the bad…..and I digress into politics.
When I divorced five years ago I had left a big job in Houston to work on a renovation project with my then husband, his business and somehow ended up with a little juice bar too for awhile. In the end it all fell apart and when it rains it pours so I was divorced with none of that. It was time for a change and time to decide what to really do with myself as I at the time, was nearing thirty (the good old days of still being in your twenties.)
I was tired of working jobs I might enjoy and might even grow up the ladder in quite well but in the end still had a stopping point that didn’t jive with me and so forth (my previous Houston company I had worked ten months 6:am to 11:pm with no days off and they even bothered me on my wedding day and day after.) It was time for an entire life change.
I spoke of this with a professor and mentor of mine , the “I am not sure what to do” that came out of my mouth was met with “Do what you are doing.” Which she pointed out was writing and creating. I had never thought to be “an artist” or a writer or live that type of life ….not one of thousands of books written and sold and best sellers but that one of potential ramen noodles.
So, on the side of working a day job the next three years I began picking up editing work, writing, learning how to be a published writer (with consistency) and learning my next steps. Using my business tactics and skills honed over the years to learn how to be a writer…which is far from just sitting down and writing. I also furthered my education and now…two years later after those three years, have learned much more goes into it than I had even thought and done.
I had always been anti-platform. I was against twitter and all the push yourself part of what seemed to come with being a writer. Then early this year I had a publisher after publisher tell me that was the only way to go and gave me some sound advice. I also had a good talk that changed my outlook on what a platform was and can do. So this entire year I have spent learning an entire new level of being a writer as well as putting it into action…alongside a day job that took sixty hours out of my week and a new budding relationship with my now boyfriend. Not to mention the just plain getting life back together after the “Tahiti” Trip, It’s hard to fit it all in. But somehow I have done it and am still doing it.
Now I am in the search of a day job again but I realized that through divorce and some life crisis I had let my resume slip a bit and was taking “get-by” jobs over the past years here on the island. Also the island itself simply does not offer a lot and nursing was not something I was willing to go into.
It is a struggle and a bit of an unprepared for one but I came into a time to be able to take time and find the right job…which in itself has become quite a job. My learning and education on the work force, current events of the work force, current laws and pay scales and much more expands everyday with it.
In this I have also picked up more freelance work which keeps me out of the ramen noodles. I am open and taking more (hint hint).
I also have the wonderful opportunity to be able to stop all and focus entirely for the month of November on NaNoWriMo 2015 . I am writing Behind The White Gate. My second novel (first not yet published). And It is in itself a deep struggle of discipline and dedication, focus and even physical wear and tear as being hunched over my laptop does no good for the sharp pain that develop between my shoulder blades (Walk’s, my evening run and yoga do help.) I have to map out and plan and be flexible when the course changes. I had to be detail oriented and have good clean and easily understandable and readable notes along the way to reference. I have to ignore facebook and phone calls and texts to join friends for coffee and this past weekend here on Galveston Island I had to work through the noise and rumble of LoneStar Biker Rally. I find it extremely hard to ignore in my studio the comfortable bed that calls me sweetly for a nap. And when I work at the coffeeshop I have to dedicate the day to more research work and small items and be prepared for interruption’s as well as be capable of focusing in a noisy and crowded place. Know when to take a short coffee break, stretch and talk to a friend and know when to put my head down and give off the “don’t talk to me now” vibe. But sometimes the coffeeshop is necessary for a change from the quiet of my studio. Mind and soul.
I also, during my writing, have to feed myself…my brain, my soul (the body never goes hungry…still not on the ramen noodles). I’ll take walks and clear my mind, a run and lose myself in my thoughts, rolling over and over an idea or area of the novel…a character and a direction. I will go on photo hunts for my platform (If you are any of my social media you understand) and the library and book store for roaming (or a new book) and there is always time to read because without reading there is no writing. I will shut out my own book and thoughts and lose myself in another story…coming out refreshed and ready to write again more than ever.
Not only do I write the story but the pieces to talk of the story, direct to the story, lead up to the story and so forth. I will explain further what a platform is perhaps another time but writing…it isn’t for the faint of heart.
The hours I work aren’t the two of your mind, not even the eight of a normal work day but my average is eleven with a lot of social platform , reading and researching in between even that.
Again I say “Writing. Fun?”
Who do I write?
Sometime’s…sometime’s I do happen to ask myself that. Why do we writer’s stare at the blank wall or off into space? Those are the moment’s that we are asking ourselve’s just that question.