You want to be a writer, eh? Better think about it for a while. Consider all the reasons why a writer’s life is, uh, very strange.
You want to be normal. If that’s your goal, stick to your day job. Writers are nuts. You have to be a tilty-boogle to pursue this course in your life. All the writers I’ve known over the years, and they are legend, are a bit wacko. Some more than others. I know. I’m a wacko writer. So, if you’re after the American dream of normalcy, try something else. This is not the life for you.
You want financial security. It’s the wholesomeness of a regular paycheck, the backbone of social progress, the lynchpin of stress-free living. Forget about it. If you want to write for a living, dump the idea of security. It just won’t happen. Sure, you may do well. You may also starve. Either way, you better lose the idea of ever achieving a “fixed income.”
You enjoy the quiet times. If you’re a writer, things are never quiet. Your head is constantly thrashing around, usually on the fine edge of implosion, always noisy. Sure, it may be peaceful in the sanctity of your writing space but it’s always chaotic in your head. Have you ever tried to get away from your head? Hard to do.
You don’t want to be weird. You can’t be serious about being a writer unless you’re seriously weird. Writers just don’t think like normal people.
You like regular hours. Yikes! A writer’s schedule is like drinking colon-blow with your coffee. Maybe you’re one of those lucky writers who can stick to a predictable writing schedule. I’ve heard about these folks, and I envy them. It’s just never worked for me. Day becomes night, morning follows evening, the calendar is all funny-looking, watches are never set correctly. Only deadlines matter.
You like to control stuff. Oops, that’s it. Game over for you. Writers control nothing, not even their own characters. Actually, the characters take over and usually lead the writer around on a leash. You can’t control your time, your income, editors, publishers, publicists, readers, media, any other bump or any living entity in the entire golly-bang universe. If you have control, you’re not a writer.
You value your ego. It doesn’t matter what you write, someone is going to be upset. Maybe most of your readers are happy and enthusiastic. Still, there are always a few out there who will launch doo-doo all over your head. Nature of the beast. If you want to write for a living, give your ego a regular dose of sleep aids and keep your head down. Better yet, forget the prophets of doom and gloom, the critics, and the forever malcontents. They’re just along for the ride. There’s no point in trying to impress others since you’ll never be able to pull it off.
You want to be understood by others. Nope, not going to happen. Try some other profession. No one understands the career writer, including the writer himself.
You like to dress well. Maybe a few writers can pull this off, but I don’t know any of them. Writer’s don’t do well with fashion. I have no idea why this happens.
You like parties and social events. These are the worst for most writers I know. Chatter, chatter, inane dialogue, noise, boring and repetitive yaddle, whatever. Give me some quiet!
You like to work with others. Writing is mostly a solo business. I mean, who wants to get inside your writing head and crawl around? People can be very distracting. They can be fun when you’re creating characters or doing research. After that, they need to go away and let you get down to work, by yourself.
You are secure, well-balanced, well integrated into society. So, by definition, you’re not a writer. See the “normal” argument above.
Still want to be a writer?