I’m a writer.
Like many of you out there, I don’t get up at the crack of dawn to rush off to a job that may or may not pay the bills, where an obsessive-compulsive boss hovers over my shoulder and rarely offers a “thank you” for a job well done.
I don’t make money hand over fist for random blurbs of fancy. I’ve never sold a novel or made headlines for an intelligent or evocative piece of literature.
But I love what I do.
I work when I please, in my robe and slippers if I choose (apologies for that mental image), and most importantly, I can spend all the time I want with my children, without unexpected call-ins to the office.
Aside from the lack of a six figure income (for me, at least), it sounds like the American dream to me.
So why is it then, that I still get that perplexed look from people when I tell them I’m a writer, followed usually by a response that, no matter how politely intended, sounds more like, “So….You don’t have a ‘real’ job?”
Just watch the smoke pour out a person’s ears when you tell them (in response to their next question, which they always ask) what you write about. If you’re like me, your creativity spans out to more than just one or two genres of writing, and for some reason, people who don’t write often just can’t seem to grasp the concept of that ability.
But wait - it gets better, doesn’t it?
Try telling your Christian friends that you’re a horror writer, or your non-Christian friends that you’re a Christian writer. Try telling almost anyone that you’re a romance writer, and see the grimace stretch across their face, as though you’ve just told them you specialize in fetish porn. Most people just don’t get it.
A writer is a writer is a writer. Yes, we all have our specialties; some have extraordinary talent with description, some with dialogue. Some writers use psychology and symbolism, while others have a more conversational style. We’re as different individually as the members of any other society, but there’s one tie that binds us all as writers.
We’re the dreamers. We’re the seers of the shadows within shadows and the pieces of life that most people either don’t pay attention to, or don’t understand. We give substance to creativity and its reason for being. We are the creators of worlds, the invokers of new perceptions, and the advocates of believing beyond what can be seen.
So, my answer remains the same, to anyone who wants to know.
What do I do?
I’m a writer - and I wouldn’t have it any other way.