Monday, June 17, 2013

Writers are transport machines



It’s raining. Fat drops meander down the glass windowpane in my office like so many overfed translucent snails. Water puddles in the street forming miniature estuaries where worms tunnel up from drowning liquid seeking refuge across the sidewalk only to die between the smooth beaks of a snacking warbles.

          And here I sit in front of my computer belting out another novel.

          Writer’s are transport machines. We put words on the page and transport reader’s minds to other places and times. But at what cost to the writer’s psyche?

          A great author once said that being a writer is like having to do homework every day for the rest of your life. There is always something to do; editing, rewriting, better setting details, characterization, etc. Not a day goes by that I don’t spend time working on one of my books or upcoming projects. Tens of thousands of hours spent plotting, pitching, and producing. Sometimes I wonder what I would have done with those hours had I not been a writer?

          Perhaps, I would’ve become a great businessman, or politician? Or perhaps, I would have wasted my days sludged in front of a television or video game? Perhaps, I would have been a barfly and one drunken evening met someone other than my wife and then ruined my life because of some momentary lapse of judgment and bored, primal impulse?

          Unless I can invent a time machine, I’ll never know. My current work-in-progress deals with these kinds of questions, but I’m not going to get into pre-promotion right now. What makes the ‘what if’s’ flow on days like this?

          There are social sacrifices all serious writers make. It is the loneliest profession in the world, after all. The saddest however, is the writer who doesn’t hit the grand success they’ve dreamt of and think they have wasted their time pursuing their passion. If you truly enjoy your craft than that enjoyment itself is the reward; not fortune, fame, or recognition. All the sacrifices made are worth it.