Friday, October 31, 2014

It's A Writer's Life For Me

It's not easy being a writer. When I tell people what I do for a living, their eyes light up with curiosity. They ask how many novels I've published or if MGM is going to buy the screen rights to my script. When I confess that none of this has happened yet, their interest quickly turns to leaky rain gutter solutions or the inflated price of ham hocks.

Fortunately, I have a family who understands the writing life. While they're mostly supportive of my efforts, there are times when my career interrupts the household harmony we've worked so hard to establish. They remember the organized woman with the color-coded calendars and an alphabetized spice rack. I was always the first mom in the school car loop and the first to volunteer for every committee conceivable.

I wrote when I could, filling notebooks with plot outlines, dialogue and character sketches drawn from an overzealous imagination. But over time, the notebooks ended up orphaned and unfinished under my bed, home to dust bunnies and wayward socks.

Once the kids graduated from school, my carpool and P.T.A. meeting days ended. I pulled out the dusty notebooks and woke my dormant muse.

I've been hooked ever since. Writing is my addiction. There's an adrenaline rush after each publication and I wake every day needing a new fix. My family understands this. If I miss an appointment or the mortgage payment, it's because my mind is engaged in a new plot twist.

My husband remembers a house that was once tidy and clean, even when we had several toddlers at home. Nowadays I forget that there are crusty dishes the height of Mount Rushmore in the sink, an overloaded trash can that smells like a skunk convention and dirty clothes multiplying like rabbits in the laundry room.

There are also days when I forget to shower and shave, and my husband mistakes me for a winter sasquatch. I hole up in my office and live on granola bars until someone offers to cook me a wholesome meal that doesn't include oats, nuts and twigs.

Lack of sleep is another issue I deal with as a writer. Between bouts of insomnia and a hyperactive muse, I've become a nocturnal creature, related to the animals who think clearest at night. If I'm struck with writer's block, or worse, rejection, the family suffers right alongside me. I become as moody as a prepubescent teen and have been known to shovel donuts in my mouth to stimulate my lackluster imagination.

Despite a few dry spells, I never lose faith that inspiration will return and crank up the sluggish gears in my brain to feed the creative spirit.

Once I write the final sentence and hit the “post” button, the adrenaline rush starts again. A fresh page and a world of possibilities await my imagination.


     This is the life of a writer, and I wouldn't trade it for all the donuts and clean laundry in the world.




***Want more Meno Mama? This week you can find me discussing what really bugs me (and several other bloggers!) on Sisterwives Speak:  http://sisterwivesspeak.com/2014/10/28/whats-bugging-you-she-said/  

61 comments:

  1. Marcia, I know what you mean about that adrenaline rush and writing... and my house used to be clean too ... that all stopped with writing and blogging in my free time but I wouldn't have it any other way, I am happy we got to know each other this way ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am too! You have been such a dear, sweet friend to me!

      Delete
  2. Yes to all of it! If you'd ever told me I'd voluntarily get up at 4am to "work" I would have laughed in your face, but when you have to feed the need sleep becomes secondary! I'm so glad that you write! You are a blessing to all of us who read your words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much! So true about the sleep--it really is secondary to writing when the muse strikes!

      Delete
  3. Supportive family makes all the difference doesn't it? In everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely---I couldn't do this without them!

      Delete
  4. I agree with Vanessa..having support means the world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They give me the confidence I need to write….along with a lot of good blog fodder!

      Delete
  5. Oh, the lack of sleep (she says, admitting she got up at 3am to write)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha! We are two peas in a pod, Carol!

      Delete
  6. Love this Marcia. Sounds like my life as a food blogger!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your blog! You have some of the best recipes I've seen and they're healthy, which is an added plus for me!

      Delete
  7. It is your incredibly creative mind that sets the other, less essential, stuff aside. What a blessing to have an understanding spouse who values your gift:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww…thank you so much for the kind words, Seana!

      Delete
  8. Wow Marcia, we were the SAME person! I too let things slide as I work and work. All of your effort is worth it, you are such a great writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon! Everything around the house seems secondary, doesn't it? My kids always complain about the time I spend on the computer, too. Hey, I think you're a terrific writer, too! My readers LOVED your guest post.

      Delete
  9. OMG, Marcia. I laughed hard at that 'winter sasquatch'. LOL!! But you're right. The adrenaline rush after clicking 'post/publish' is priceless. I still struggle with inspiration (a lot!) and though I'm likely not as creative, nor as prolific as you, I can still relate to all this angst. I'm not so sure about not trading this for donuts though....hehehehe.... ;-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's a Krispie Kreme donut you're talking about, I could be easily swayed….

      Delete
  10. Hi Monica! I think your post reflects the single-mindedness of a writer. All day long ideas pop into your head, and you struggle for a scrap of paper to jot it down. Then hours later, you read it and it makes no sense whatsoever! Erg.
    I think that constant drive to want to write is your clue that you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Not to mention the joy of a finished post, or a completely edited chapter. What happiness!
    May you have many days and years of this kind of joy my friend, as you bring joy to so many. You are greatly gifted, and you are sharing that gift. Who could ask for more?
    Happy Halloween :)
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are AWESOME, Ceil! Thank you so much for all the encouragement!

      Delete
  11. Clean laundry? Naaaa.
    But donuts? IDK, that's a close one . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you bake them, put on a pot of coffee because I'm coming over!

      Delete
  12. I've been a writer for 20 years and wouldn't have it any other way. If I had to choose between doing the laundry or writing, writing wins every single time. Me? Domesticated? Hahahaha. Shut up and just pass me another cup of coffee. Sleep? What the hell is that?

    As for writer's block, UGH. That's all I'm going to say. As my bio says on my blog, "When not editing articles or in class, I can be found attempting to write while my inner editor and crazy hamster duke it out in my head." The inner editor is an obnoxious asshole and the hamster is usually drunk. Ahh. Writing. Gotta love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE that analogy about the obnoxious editor and the hamster! That NAILS exactly how I feel most of the time, LOL!

      Delete
  13. Everything must be working, because you are a great writer! I need to figure out the sleep thing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! My doctor told me to lay off all the caffeine to get better sleep. I just laughted and laughed…..

      Delete
  14. You are also a kick ass writer so no amount of laundry, donuts, or writers block can hold you back!

    All I can add to this is to blog naked. It helps me when I'm writing. Wine too. And lots of coffee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhhhhhh naked blogging! Hubs would love that…the kids? Not so much….

      Delete
  15. Tons of notebooks, research, sleepless nights, hairy legs, laundry and dish stacks, granola bars – CHECK! Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES to hairy legs! I was in the shower yesterday, looked down at my legs and said :Nahhhh I'm good for another week (or two!).

      Delete
  16. Good to hear your family is supportive after your efforts as a good mother, Marcia. I wish my muse would pay a visit and keep me awake :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your blog Pinky, and I think your muse is doing an excellent job there, my friend! XO

      Delete
  17. It is so great that you have a passion and even better that you are following it. I so enjoy your writing, no matter the topic. I'm sad when you're sad and laugh, seriously out loud at times, when you are laughing. That is the mark of a great writer when you move your audience. You my friend are great at moving your audience, keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just brought tears to my eyes, Phyllis. I cannot thank you enough for all of the love and support you have shown me since I began this journey. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! <3

      Delete
  18. This post just blew my mind, whoa! I would have never thought to think about such a concept. Generally I thought content was king but if the reader is having a hard time reading the content then it makes for an awful experience.This post just blew my mind, whoa! I would have never thought to think about such a concept. Generally I thought content was king but if the reader is having a hard time reading the content then it makes for an awful experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taswir, my dear, I do believe you are spamming me….

      Delete
    2. I get these type of spam comments too...frustrating!

      Delete
  19. I'm glad you have taken the time for yourself, now that your family has grown. I had to laugh about the home conditions, I thought I was the only one that let go of detailed lists once my son left home.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! Once the kids move out, it's even MORE tempting to let things slide around the house! Writing takes priority!

      Delete
  20. You've really hit the nail square on the head over what it means to be a writer. I'd rather be miserable writing than happy doing anything else. Sometimes this feels more like a curse than a blessing, but during those magic soul-lifting moments when the words are flowing, it does feel like Heaven. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent way of describing it, Stephen. I can't imagine doing anything else in my life!

      Delete
  21. I wish I could get everyone to understand I need to write...and leave me alone to do it. Sometimes, I admit, rarely, I get a sentence just right. It is the best feeling in the world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it? It's so wonderful when it all just pulls together perfectly!

      Delete
  22. Oftentimes, when the writing flow is just not working, I put it away for 1 hour, 12 hours, 24 hours..what ever it takes. And usually when I come back, suddenly the words seem to flow so easily from my brain. Remember the old days when we used to have to write using a pen and paper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey I'm still there with the pen and the legal pad! I STILL have to write it out by hand for the first draft, LOL! It just seems more real to me that way. Once I type it onto the blogger dashboard, then it is REAL! And SCARY!

      Delete
  23. Yup, I'm here with you for this one. My boyfriend has learned that if I'm mumbling at a notepad or a screen then I'm writing. I need it. It's like breathing. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree. They'd have to put in in a padded room if I had to go without writing.

      Delete
  24. You describe it so well! I never thought I would get so much enjoyment from writing. And I am very glad that you do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad you stuck with it, too!

      Delete
  25. It sounds like a lot of us are up at night! I love this post - and it has made me feel like maybe my writing habits are more normal than I thought!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me---your habits are TOTLLY normal!!

      Delete
  26. I agree that there is something addictive about publishing a piece of writing - even more so if you earn a few quid/dollars for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heck yeah---that's the icing in the cake--to get paid doing what you love most!

      Delete
  27. I love writing too, even though I'm a wee baby novice and never publish most of my rambly rants. It is therapeutic to get it all out. And especially rewarding to get feedback!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth? Love that we can spill our emotions all over the page and people life us up with their encouraging comments!

      Delete
  28. I am so glad that you write and I know what you mean about people losing interest when saying "um no actually, it's a website?" rather than being able to tell them that yes, MGM will be making a movie of my words any day now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people lose respect for writers unless they have something to show for it---a book, or script..even a spot on TV. I don't think non-writers understand how difficult this job is!

      Delete
  29. So happy you are writing... I actually think that blogs will become more and more big and all the news magazines and stuff like that will be moved to the world of the Internet and that the Internet will be the only source of news, novels etc in the future :)
    My fiancé loves to write too :)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you! And I think it's great that your fiancé writes as well!

      Delete
  30. Oh, come on. You absolutely WOULD trade the writer's life for a box of Dunkin' Donuts, esp. with extra creme. But then you'd whack me over the head and take it back. :)

    ReplyDelete

Shareaholic

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...