Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm A Writer!

And like most writers (and other artists) there are things that will drive your spouse and/or family crazy. Here are a few tips, from me to you, on dealing with the inevitable:

1) When you say you’re going to fold the laundry, don’t all of a sudden get a burst of creativity and instead go sit down at your computer to punch out a few pages. Don’t you know that when you get a brilliant idea, it can wait!?! Trust me, you won’t forget*.

2) Ditto for dishes, bed-making, vacuuming, and any other household chore, really. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it would just be better if you don’t say you’re going to do those things. That way, he’ll have low expectations, and when you DO manage to tear yourself away from the laptop and into the kitchen to, you know, put some random pieces of food together and call it a meal, he’ll be so impressed with your effort that it’ll be AT LEAST another month before he realises the laundry has once again gone unfolded**.

3) Every time your spouse brings up that fact that writing isn’t exactly raking in the bucks (yet, I say, yet), gently, and subtly, avert his attention to something else, say, a piece of lint that is floating in the air. Taking your top off works wonders as well, but let’s save the drastic measures for when it’s really needed (like when your overdue credit card bill arrives in the mail ... err ...).

4) When you’re so caught up in the world you’ve created on the page, sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s happening in the real world around you. Here are a few key phrases to keep handy for when you’re spouse is trying to have a conversation with you while you write:

“Uh huh, of course I’m listening.”

“What was that? I’m actually listening so intently, that my focus caused me to not hear what you just said!”


And my personal favourite:
“Leave me alone, I’m writing.”***

All jokes aside, it’s been a tough transition for my partner and me to adjust to my decision to go back to being a writer. Tough for me because writing jobs are few and far between and what is available is highly competitive, so I need to work twice as hard to “break in”; and that’s not including my fiction aspirations either. Tough for him because he can’t understand why I would choose a job with so much uncertainty over something more secure (and lucrative). He’s an engineer though, I wouldn’t expect anything less! ;p In the end, I know he loves and supports me no matter what, but it doesn’t make those tough moments any easier.

To be honest, I still have moments where I think, “hey, maybe I should become a law clerk after all”; or a lawyer, or teacher, or architect, or any other “safe” career I’ve considered in the past. And for a little bit, the fantasy sounds nice; a nice, steady income, Monday to Friday hours, weekends off; yearly trips to Panama, Florida and Europe; a new couch, and a new wardrobe (god, I’m dying for new clothes!!). Then I remember who I am and I know that, though those things may satisfy me in the short term, in the long term I would regret not following my passion.

Plus, I’m a terrible employee. Truly aweful. Seriously, other people will actually benefit from my being self-employed.  

So there you go. In the most round-about way I could think of, this is me acknowledging that I’m a writer. Deep down to my bones, I know I’m a writer, and I’m finally at peace with admitting it. That is, until the next time I covet a pair of Jimmy Choo’s, or think about my dream vacation to the Maldives. Sigh, at least I can write about it! 

*Actually, most likely you will forget. Always write things down! And see piece of advice number two.
**This is wishful thinking.
 ***You may have to take your top off later to make up for this one.

1 comment:

  1. That's such a great post and so well written :-) You are lucky to have the support and to be able to pursue your writing (which is clearly where your talents lie) until the money rolls in and I hope it will all work out for you :-)

    Thanks for your lovely comment and birthday wishes, Love from London xo