When I first started writing, I used it as an escape. A place where I could forget about everything. Someplace where I dictated the rules. It was like taking a vacation every time I put words to an empty page. As I took my writing seriously, it evolved into something else. I was no longer writing just for myself. I assume all writers go through this, as their work evolves, so do they. When writing became my full-time occupation, it no longer became an escape I could just disappear into and nothing else, it became my job. First, writing on demand became a problem for me. Expectations of delivering so many words per day, a novel a year, fresh ideas and let’s not forget feeding the social media beast. My joy of writing suffered from it and I had to evolve again. For me to get to the place where I love putting words on the page, I had to turn my life upside down.
Like my former nine-to-five job, I had to find enjoyment, or I wouldn’t be good at it. Even on my worst day at work, I needed to find the joy. Writing full time made this easy, I already liked my choice of careers. The hard part was to see it as the job it was. Something with schedules, goals and objectives I had to accomplish. Otherwise, I would just write for myself. There was my need to write, but also a need for someone to read what I had written. I am not ashamed to admit as a reader, demanding my favorite author/s to finish writing his next book, so I could read it. I’m sure George R.R. Martin gets a lot of nasty little nudges from anxious readers. Like some unwritten contract between the writer and the reader.
I can say I write for myself and for my readers. As long as I can do that, I’m fine. A nine to five I will happily accept. Now, most days I find myself in front of the computer writing. A day that starts off with my mandatory cup of coffee, a quick breakfast and notes for the day. A break for lunch and back at the computer, struggling with characters, plotting and editors. Unless I’m on a mad bent, I stop in the late afternoon. Time to connect with the outside world, family and friends who thought I fell off the face of the earth. A time to not think about my new job. Upside down, you see.