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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Glamorous Life of a Writer -- Not!
Oh, if she only knew. Evidently she’s watched way too many television movies that extol the writer as lolling about in a flowing silk robe, lounging on a chaise while savoring chocolate dipped strawberries, sipping champagne, and dictating the next best seller to an overworked, underpaid secretary. Hah!
I really didn’t want to burst this poor lady’s bubble, nor do I wish to discourage any reader of this blog who aspires to be the next great NY Times best-selling author. But, alas and alack, my real life is boring. Honestly. My day is filled with many of the same activities as anyone else’s life. I still do laundry, cook dinner, balance the checkbook, and buy groceries. Okay, I see your eyes glazing over, so I’ll stop there.
I can’t speak for all authors, just me—I’m not glamorous. While some writers go down to the local coffee shop or library to write, I find those atmospheres to distracting, so I converted a spare bedroom into my office. Because my writing is done at home, my lifestyle revolves around pajamas, or over-sized, ultra-comfortable housecoats. Forget bedroom slippers. In the summer time, I prefer bare feet and in the winter, plain ole socks will do. Occasionally, I don jeans and a t-shirt. And make-up? Yeah, right! Who’s going to see me besides my computer screen?
The characters in my books lead far more interesting lives that my own. That’s why I write. In truth, I hate to travel. Don’t get me wrong. I love experiencing new adventures. It’s just that I dislike traffic, and would rather suffer through a pap smear than experience the rudeness of airport security. Now if I were Genie and could fold my arms and blink myself to exotic destinations or wiggle my nose like Samantha the witch, then I’d be happy to whisk myself off to destinations unknown.
In my writing life, the heroes never wail because supper isn’t ready or wants to know why he can’t find his socks (because he’s looking in the wrong drawer). The heroine never has to vacuum or mop floors, put gas in the car, or scrub the bathroom sinks and commode.
Truth is I love my life, unglamorous as it may be. Being a writer allows me, each and every day to visit new places, meet interesting people, face down outlaws, and reward my hero and heroine with their ultimate desires. It doesn’t get any better than that, right? Well, maybe the offer of a movie contract, with Ron Howard as the director and Benjamin Bratt or Brad Pitt playing the hero in one of my Westerns would (as Clint Eastwood would say,) Make my day!