I’ve been a bit remiss in updating this blog lately, so I thought I’d break the deadlock by doing a quick list of the reasons why I love being a writer. Now, there are plenty of reasons why being a writer is not the ideal profession; it’s a struggle to live on the income from writing alone (most writers have a ‘day job’ for at least some of the time these days), the self-doubt can be a real emotional drain, Imposter Syndrome is Totally A Thing, as is Writer’s Arse, and bookending the days with coffee and wine isn’t the best lifestyle choice when things are going badly. However, this post is about the real positives of writing, so let’s focus on those.
- Creating worlds and people to go in them is fun. Especially when your characters get to go to places and be in situations that you would love to be. All the thrills, without having to leave your desk!
- Real life is complicated, but with stories you have control over the complications – and, better still, imaginary people have to go through them. Psychologists would call this catharsis; I just call it bloody good fun.
- ‘I’m an author and …’ will get you the answers to a lot of cheeky questions and into some interesting places. When my new book comes out at the end of this year, you’ll see how much fun this has been lately!
- Meeting other authors is great – mostly because nearly all of them I’ve met have been friendly, generous and helpful, and also because no-one else understands that, to us, our characters are like real people, and we talk about them as if they actually are walking the streets/hills/cityscapes.
- It’s a good excuse to try new things – I mean, all that cider I drank when I was writing the Little Somerby series of novels was pretty much in the name of research, of course!
- You can choose to have an alter ego, if you wish. Mine has a slightly different name and wears the good clothes.
- Daydreaming is a legitimate pastime for a writer; we just call it thinking about the plot.
- Seeing your work in print (or e-book or audio) for the first time is a huge buzz. It’s a little disembodying, and sometimes, after the fact, it still doesn’t feel like mine, but catching sight of the books on the shelf is a real rush.
- Hearing from readers is brilliant too – whether good or bad, the fact that people have read my work is an amazing feeling.
- Reading other people’s books is part of the job – in a way, I get paid to read, and I love that!
So there you have it – writers, what are your best things about the job? Thoughts?