Years ago, I had a reporter call and ask, “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” The only answer I had was, “I’d just keep on being a writer.” Since it was Career Day, the reporter wrote an article in which he posed that question to dozens of people. As one person chose a career, he would call someone with that job and ask what they wanted to be. So a teacher wanted to be a doctor, a doctor wanted to be an astronaut, an astronaut wanted to be a senator, and the senator wanted to be: me.
I’ve always loved that. As an author, I’ve got the greatest job in the world.
First of all, I can write in my pajamas. I don’t have to get up in the morning and shave.
In fact, I can keep my laptop by the side of the bed and write from bed, if I want.
On my average day, I don’t have to spend an hour getting up to dress properly, nor do I have to worry about my commute.
I rarely have to concern myself with office politics, so my stress levels are low.
I get to schedule my own work hours and my own vacations. Guess what? Because I love what I do, I get up at 4:00 A.M. to start the day, and I will work as long as I like without my boss whining about how I put in too much overtime.
I can work anywhere in the world. In the past I’ve gone to Cabo San Lucas to focus on a project. My favorite place is to write on the beach, just as the sun is coming up on a perfectly still morning. But I’ve also had good writing days in mountain cabins, in busy airports, and even while relaxing in a coffee shop.
And I make good money as a writer. When my daughter Danielle was twelve, she came home from school one day and asked tearfully, “Are you a drug dealer?” I told her no. She knew I was a writer. But she said, “Well, that’s what everyone says.” Apparently my new neighbors felt that I had no visible means of support, that I spent too much time sun-bathing in the middle of the day (usually by 2:00 P.M. I’m ready for a break), and that I wasn’t smart enough to be a hedge-fund manager.
To be honest, I often feel bad for those poor folks who aren’t writers, folks stuck in dead-end jobs. I was on Facebook earlier today and saw that one friend had been “made redundant” at his school in England, another had found himself in the same crappy job for 14 years and had never been able to get ahead, since his managers felt that his health issues kept him from being the kind of person that they could trust to be at work every day.
Several friends that I’ve known for more than thirty years wanted to be writers but took nice safe jobs with major corporations. Over the years, many of them lost those nice jobs time and time again.
So I’m feeling very grateful to be a writer today. Even when the going sometimes gets tough, I just keep doing what I love.
A long time ago, I noticed something about jobs: If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, there are plenty of people who are willing to hire you so that you’ll be doing what they want you to do with your life.
Personally, I enjoy being self-directed.
So if you want to write for a living, go write! Do it for an hour a day, or two hours a day, so that you gradually become better. Increase your writing time incrementally, until you can make enough money doing it, that you don’t need some other lousy job.
In other words, do what you love.
If you’re a writer who isn’t writing, you’re wronging.
And if you don’t like writing, that’s okay. The world needs astronauts and senators, teachers and garbage collectors, too.
I have on Amazon.com a bundle containing all 4 books of my Serpent Catch Series for only $9.99. Here is an excerpt from the description of the first book:
“Long ago Earth’s paleobiologists established the planet Anee as a vast storehouse of extinct species, each continent home to life forms of a different era. For a thousand years the starfarers’ great sea serpents formed a wall of teeth and flesh that protected Smilodon Bay from the ravaging dinosaurs that swam across the ocean from Hotland. Now the serpents are gone and Anee is being ravaged by tyranny, war and slavery.”
If you are interested in reading more, you can get all 4 books here.