Easy writer

Disclaimer:  Little Miss Sunshine has left the laptop, and Sardonic Psycho Writer Chick has commandeered
the keyboard. Just wanted to let you know you can stop reading now…or proceed at your own risk.

I am a writer. It’s after 10 p.m., and I have an interview scheduled for a story first thing in the morning. On one hand, I’m pumped. I get to do what I live to do—interview a musician and write about it. For me it doesn’t get any better than that.

So what’s the problem?

I’m exhausted. I’m stressed. I really need to finish my research to prepare my interview questions, but all I can do is click on Facebook and play Zuma Blitz. Over. And over. And over again.

Playing the game requires no thought, no real focus. I can zone out and think about my life with no repercussions. If I lose, I just hit “play again.” When all my chances are up, I just have to wait a while, and they’ll be refreshed again.

I want to write, but life and stress and conflict have sucked all the creativity out of me. Writing should be fun, exhilarating, a rush? Right? That’s what wannabe writers think. I’ve had umpteen conversations with them, and they all go something like this:

“I need to supplement my income. It can’t be that hard. I’ll just write some articles about this or that, and then a magazine will pay me. Right? Maybe I’ll just write a book.”

Have you ever tried writing a book?

“No.”

Taken any workshops? Submitted anything to the local paper?

“No. You have to pay to go to those. I’m trying to make money. And the local papers won’t pay anything. They expect me to write it for free. Psssh. I’m not doing that.”

Really.

No, dear wannabe writer friend, being a real writer is not what you think it is. I earned my degree in English. I have my master’s in journalism. I’ve taught hundreds of students how to write. I’ve advised the number one newspaper in the state. I can quote pretty much rule in the Little Brown Handbook. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about the craft of writing, and I’m already booking my fall workshops. I have done and will do whatever it takes to make it as a “real writer.”

But do you REALLY think all you have to do is write and they’ll buy it?

I write every day of the week, but I still haven’t seen my dreams come true. And what paychecks I do get from my writing don’t come close to covering what I pay to feed my dreams. It’s kind of like the amazingly talented musician who shells out more in gas money than what he earns from the tip jar just so he can play a gig. If he doesn’t play, a little part of him dies. I get it. Writers are like that too.

Wannabe writer friend, if you want to write, forget about doing it for the money. That’s not what it’s about—not until you pay your dues. Nobody owes you anything. Writing IS the payoff, the gift. A paycheck is just an added bonus.

I’m doing an awful lot of whining and complaining tonight. Sometimes I work 12 hours a day to support my family, and then I come home and work on my writing, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. I’m not even close to paying my dues. But I wonder, “Isn’t it my turn yet?”

I’m quickly reminded that no matter how hard I struggle with the problems in my life as I try to write, I still have more to learn. Rather than complaining, I should count my blessings. There is always someone tougher than I am who hasn’t had his or her breaks yet either. There will always be someone equally or more deserving than I am.

I challenge you to take a moment to check out the blog of a very special writer who is waiting for her break, in more ways than one.

One Woman’s Dream

The mother of four precious little girls, Krista Phillips spends a majority of her time caring for baby Annabelle, who spent approximately the first eight months of her life in the hospital. But now baby Annabelle must go back because there’s the possibility that her body is rejecting her recent heart transplant.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Krista to care for her family and still hang on to her writing dreams. I admire her so much.

We all want something. Whether or not we want to admit it, there are times we all think we deserve it. But we aren’t entitled to anything, not even life. Life is God’s gift to us. He has his own reasons for granting or
denying prayer requests.

God gives us free will. Sometimes we can make things happen, and other times the best we can do is just pray like crazy that he will make things work out—even when we don’t see a way.

The clock nears midnight. I’m afraid if I don’t get my work done by then I’ll turn into a pumpkin—or, worse, oversleep my interview.

I hear Zuma Blitz calling me. A couple of games should breathe new life into me, keep me awake. Right?

But then again, I hear my guitar beckoning. Oh, what a wonderful friend it has been to me in the last six months, opening doors and dreams I thought might be shut forever. It has breathed new life into me and made me remember who I am. I need to work on a song. Maybe I should do that first.

Ah, there goes the Romantic in me again–and the procrastinator.

Better the Romantic procrastinator than the cynical writer who wrote the first paragraphs of this blog.

Writing is so easy

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16 thoughts on “Easy writer

  1. Writing is easy only when writing the grocery list – and even that assumes one has made out a menu.

    Been there. Admitted defeat. You will prevail. I’ve seen victory in your eyes.

  2. You are not defeated. Your journey has taken you further than mine has. I don’t believe your finished. I see that spark of writing adventure in your eyes. Whent the time is right, you will prevail.

  3. You motivate me, Having said that I wanted to share a story I’ve told you before..I am a successful salesman, I can ask for anything and usually get it..In sales as in life you must find your motivation, for some its money, praise etc…For me though it’s easy, I sell candy..I love to see the smile on peoples faces when they get something that reminds them of their childhood. My motivation started early..I was selling subscriptions to newspapers to get money for a trip to Opryland, I went into a house like normal, but this was different, they had a pet monkey , as I walked under it, it grabbed me with its tail and lifted me up off the floor by my neck..The people frantically beat the monkey till it let go..They were so upset that they bought everything I was selling, and I went on my trip..at that point I found my motivation, I found my Monkey..so when you are in a rut and need inspiration…Find your Monkey.

    • Roger, you know I believe everything you tell me. But I laugh everytime I picture this. Are you SURE you aren’t joshing me? You’re going to have to convince me. 🙂 But just the thought of this makes me smile. That’s pretty motivating. Thanks so much for taking time to read my goofy writing. It means a lot.

      • Really , it happened..I cant make something up that strange..so I’m afraid of monkeys, but it motivated me to look for ways to be better, yes as a salesman at 12 years old. Look deep inside you and find that monkey that’s choking you..that’s the point of my story.

  4. I get it. In some ways Im right there with you. Keep going….. 🙂 keep writing….. be happy…. 🙂 wether it pays off or not. It will help keep your spirit alive. 🙂 You are an excellent writer and friend!!

    • Thanks Jenn. I’m spazzing out this morning because I can’t find my tape recorder for my interview. I use an old TAPE recorder. I’m going to have to break down and get a nice digital one. My little one for my guitar hasn’t come in yet either. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. It’s very encouraging.

  5. We all have our ups and downs… our good days and our bad days. That is what makes us human. Thats true even here.

    Maybe during the last performance of a three show load out day, or an entire weekend when you are sick, or an 10:30 AM kiddie show on Thursdays when you’ve not slept well the night before… (Thank goodness there is no preshow before those)

    These are all times when you still have to put on that smile, go out onto the floor… and “fake it.”

    I’ll admit I’ve done it … atleast started to… I always find something that perks me up. Be it something that happens thats a little abnormal during the performance, a special connection I make with an audience member… or even the laughs that another performer might get.

    If you take a fall… — as many of us with red noses do here in the circus… Just shake it off, take a bow, and keep going. The show must go on.

    It may take a little while to get going… you have to pedal a little harder to get up hill. But once you start gaining momentum then the sky is the limit! You can do anything that you can set your mind to. If you can dream it… you can do it!

  6. Great words of encouragement Chris. Good medicine. Lately I feel as if the chain has come off my bike while I’m peddling. Maybe by the end of next week I’ll have a plan. Right now I’m just drifting.

    At least the interview ended up going well. It wasn’t what I had planned, but I enjoyed it. God always slips in a nugget of wisdom through the source’s words. He did it again today.

    I can look to you as inspiration because you are living your dream. I am so proud of you.

  7. Funny that you mention the chain slipping… We have an act in the show where these four guys and a girl take turns riding this bike where the wheels are these huge innertubes the size of ones you see being pulled behind big boats at the lake… they do acrobatic jumps off the bike, use the big wheels to slide up to the seat.. .all sorts of things.

    The other day the Bike chain came loose in the middle of the act. They can’t end the act their … they had to fix it . So two of the guys tended to the chain while the girl and the other two did some slapstick interaction and gymnastic tricks to entertain the audience until the bike was quickly fixed.

    Sometimes all wee need is a little distraction from our woes and strife and that is normal. I have no doubt that you can fix your chain… That old saying ” When you fall off your bike(Horse?)… get right back on!” I take plenty of falls off mine… even though mine is just a tricycle!

    Glad to hear the interview went well.

    You were the most inspiring teacher I had during high school. I was never a great writer… but you always encouraged me and together we found ways for me to express creativity.

    I’ve always been an out-of-the-box type of thinker. You wanted us all to be unique individuals. But there was a time when I could have easily slipped into a more common ‘clique’ in high school that might have lead me into a more common lifestyle.

    I owe a lot to you for encouraging me to continue to be creative, stay active, and keep dreaming.

    Dreams are very important to have never be afraid to dream big,.

  8. Writing is *not* easy. For me, writing under pressure would be impossible. I watched a Joel Oesteen a few nights ago. He talked about how easy we tend to give up. How we pray for something to happen and when it doesn’t we give the negative fuel by claiming it as a fact. Joel advises “speak to your mountain.” When I’m feeling down and hopeless, I listen to Joel O or Joyce Meyer and that helps point me in the right direction. Not how big my disappointments are, but how big my God is.

  9. God speaks through you Kuby. Never discount the effect you have on other people’s lives. I guess maybe I’m just tired and need to slow down and heal a little bit. I’m used to going, going, going. I’m so driven. But without God in it, we really on our strength–not His. Thank you friend. 🙂

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