Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Feeling rejuvenated about writing. I'm usually all over the place in what I want to do--my mind wonders terribly. So, I set a schedule so I can fit in a little bit of everything each day. In the morning, after meditation, coffee, and light exercise, I get myself in the writing mood by reading inspirational writing passages (Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul) and follow it up with writing studies (Story and Introduction to Literature). Then, I'm ready to roll right into writing, which I have allotted a block of 3 - 4 hours. Then, after lunch, I knock a few more items off my to do list. I'm past the urgent stuff now, so I just allot three hours to do as much as I can. Then it's break time. A siesta, leisure reading (if I so choose), or The Young and the Restless. Then the evening hours are filled with an aerobics class, reading, studying, and writing. Right now, I'm getting about six hours of reading and writing, and as the to-do list dwindles, I'll increase it to 8 - 10 hours minimum.

If I didn't know it before (but I did), I can truly see it now. Writing is definitely a lonely profession and you really have to want to do it. No matter what the profession, others may see glory where you don't. When I was an engineer, I traveled a lot and a lot of people would tell me how "lucky" I was. Especially since I flew to California a lot. But I didn't feel lucky. There's very little fun in flying from Ohio to the west coast every other week along with traveling to other cities, living out of a suitcase, having to remember where you are and what city you're in when you wake up, and going to a large parking lot and not remembering where you parked, then realizing you don't even remember what rental car you're driving (and of course, this time you have a car without the panic alarm button, which is great for locating a car). It wasn't fun having a condo at home, but only being in it about 5 non-consecutive days a month. Just long enough to unpack, do laundry, and pack. It wasn't fun getting home an not knowing anybody in my area, and not having the chance to go out and make friends because I'd be on the road again soon. Yet, of course, others thought I was crazy to give up a lifestyle where I get to travel and have the company pay for everything. And it's funny to me how they would say, "Even if I had to work 16 hours a day, I'd still go out and enjoy the city and its night life." Yeah, right. As they say, the grass is always greener...

So here I am with writing. Another lonely profession. But, it has its perks. I do like to explore, get out, observe people, listen to conversations. It's best to do this alone because if you bring a friend, then they want to talk and you miss out on observing others or taking in the atmosphere and writing about it. Bar and grills are so cliche, but still one of the best places to observe a variety of characters (oops! Did I say characters?) and the best conversations. Especially from those who've had a few. Yes, I'm there, reading a book, then pretending to read a book. I have my notebook out where I'm taking notes. People think I'm studying school work and when they ask, I lie and say, yes, I'm a student. I learned not to say I'm a writer because then you get the long list of questions: What do you write? What else do you do? You write-full time? I see, but, WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING??? (This tickles me.) Tell me about your book. You know...I do a little writing myself. How did you get into it? What made you want to become a writer? And the list of standard questions goes on. I don't mind these questions, but not when I'm working. So, I no longer tell people I'm a writer. Usually, if someone knows, it's because somebody else told them. It's funny because some of the people I've been working out with for months are slowly finding out (because a girl in the class chose my book for her bookclub's book of the month), and afterwards, they seem to be in total awe. That's another thing that I really don't understand and don't have a preference for...The awe. Because it makes you feel like people think you're doing something special, and you're not. And it feels awkward. It feels like, I would imagine, looking like a famous person, and walking around accepting praises and signing autographs, undeserved, when you know you're bagging groceries at the neighborhood grocery store. Maybe when I have at least 5 books behind me, I'll feel differently. I'll feel like I've really done something noteworthy. I don't know what it will take. But it really feels awkward right now.


Shelia Thu May 12, 10:01:00 AM EDT  

Writing is a lonely profession because you must retreat away from everyone and dig into a whole new "exciting" world -- called fiction. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Peggy Fri May 13, 10:40:00 AM EDT  

I can relate to all you have said here. For years I also did the travleling and living out hotels, suitcases and planes -- it was lonely and ultimately unattractive. Writing is too just as up say, but it's true identity -- it's what we really do.