Friday, July 30, 2010
The Definitive Top-Five List of A Writer's Rewards
Lickety Splitter, a non-writing (she says) follower of mine, has said she tried writing, but it seemed like way too little rewards for way too much agony, and so she quit it. I'm amazed that anybody could be smart enough to see this low reward-to-work ratio and get out while the gettin's good.
But then, no. I could never give up writing, because there ARE rewards.
OK, now you ask me to name them. Details, details.
Oh, you REALLY want me to name them. A little trust, people. If I say there are rewards, then there are -- ptui. You're not going to shut up until I enumerate them, are you?
So for the Doubting Thomases in my readership, here is the definitive Top Five Rewards list for writers.
5) People think you're smart.
It's true. If you let the non-writing public find out you are writing a book, people are genuinely impressed with you. They assume you are going to join the ranks of JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer and that they will have known you when. Do not disavow them of such beliefs.
4) People will excuse your messy house.
The non-writing public will (generally speaking) give you a pass if your house is cluttered but essentially sanitary. They assume that you are expelling blood, sweat, toil and tears during all your free time, and that you don't have time to deal with dust bunnies.
3) People will excuse your strange behavior.
The NWP (non-writing public) will soon grow accustomed to you stopping in mid-sentence, shrieking, "Eureka!" and then scribbling something on your palm only to dash off for your laptop. When you NAME your dust bunnies and talk to them, the NWP will smile and say things like, "Well, yanno, she's one of those creative types."
2) You may get some dough.
Most writers don't get rich, but they can, if they're lucky and work at it, garner anything from enough to take a vacation to enough to quit the day job and still survive. Doing what you love for a living? That's not work. And what idiot walks away from money that can be made with so little capital investment?
1) You will remain true to yourself.
Eventually the NWP will get impatient with you and say, "So when's that big best-seller coming out?" But there's something about seeing your words in print, even if it's in the local paper, that gives you a thrill that won't quit. It's addictive. If you are a writer, you can't REALLY quit (which is why I suspect that Lickety Splitter, with her keen observations on her colorful blog, is truly a writer in hibernation). But if you did PRETEND to quit, you'd be denying a part of yourself. That would make as much sense as looking at your left hand and saying, "Huh, don't use it much. Guess I could chop it off and it wouldn't be cold in the winter time."
So be honest. Deal in truth. Say it loud and say it proud: I am a writer, I'm for real, even if I haven't been pubbed, and I do it for ME.