One Year Later...

It’s November again.

The days are getting colder, night comes early.  It’s been almost a year since we returned from Japan and I started my full time career as a writer.  I recently browsed through this blog, read back to my first posts.  I had forgotten that I started writing here to have a record of my progress, give friends and readers a glimpse into my life as an author, not just to vent my social/political/spiritual ramblings.

Though the subject matter of my previous posts are not always focused on craft or process, I don’t think I have strayed to far from my theme.  When I ask myself, “How come you didn’t blog about writing?” the answer is obvious: Writing is simple.

There is nothing to say about writing.  You pick up a pen, seat yourself in a quiet corner and do your work.  No secrets, nothing fancy.  I leave any seminar or workshop with the same resolve, “Get your ass in a chair and write.”

 

It’s not very glamorous.  I sat in the kitchen, or at the dining room table.  These days I close myself away in the guest bedroom, my notes and outlines taped all over the wall.  I listen to the same songs over and over.  I drink too much coffee.  I forget to eat.  Some days I doubt myself, take an objective look at this business of writing and think, “This is crazy.”

After a year of writing, I am reminded of something Bret Anthony Johnston said during a panel at the 2010 Muse and the Marketplace Conference:

“People think that writing is an indulgence.  It is not an indulgence.  There is a moment when every writer realizes you aren’t going to the movies, you don’t have a high paying job.  You realize you are giving up your indulgences to sit alone in a room and try to make sense of 26 letters.”  

I have been using this blog to justify my choice to become a writer.  I rant about the state of the world, how we live in a society that idolizes celebrity instead of substance, frustrated that I have little to show after a long day of work, nothing more than a scene or story that I compile into my manuscript and hope that someday, someone will read it.

I haven’t been going to the movies, I don’t have a high paying job.  Hell, Kyle and I are still living at his mom’s house while some of our friends are buying homes of their own. It’s easy to look up at my wall of notes, knowing that my friends probably don’t think twice about a haircut or new pair of jeans, and ask myself, “What am I doing?”

But there is no indulgence that I would give up writing for, because for me, writing was never a choice. Ever since I started reading and my teacher told me I could write my own stories, I have been hooked.  Kyle said it best, “This isn’t a career, it’s more like a disease.”

Whatever it is, I am happy as could be.  This year hasn’t always been easy or fun.  I have learned that it takes courage to do something different, to speak your mind, be true to yourself.  There is nothing else I’d rather do though, so here’s hoping for another year of just doing what I do…