Monday, June 2, 2008

Telling the Story

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a mommy. Back in my day, that's what all little girls wanted to be because women didn't have careers or jobs. When I was a little older I went through a whole slew of career choices, but not a single one of them was writer or author. It wasn't because I lacked talent or ambition. It just seemed so far out of reach that it wasn't an attainable goal and my life was pretty much about attainable goals.

So I wrote for myself. I wrote to satisfy some inner urge and need. And that's what I still do. Only now--miracle of miracles--I get paid to write. Mostly I write because I have a headful of stories and I'm running out of room up there. Without the safety valve of writing, I suppose my head would just explode. Not a pretty picture.

I won't lie and say that there aren't bad days. There are the days when my brain just bounces around like a ping pong ball on speed. On those days I don't have a prayer of accomplishing anything even remotely writerly so I find something else to do. There are other days when perhaps I received a bad review when I feel doooooown in the dumps. Strangely enough I don't get discouraged. I just get...irritated at the reviewers lack of perception. But writing while dealing with irritation is not a happy mix. So I save those days up to write scenes where I need to convey irritability and annoyance.

There are other times that discouragement drags me down. Perhaps I've received a less than princessly royalty statement. What's wrong with those people? Don't they know I'm a fabulous writer? That I'm worth every penny they could spend on one of my books? Yeah, there are always those day.

That is when I go track down a fellow writer or two or three and we have a general bellyachin' fest to get past that. You see, writing is a solitary occupation. And because it is, the interaction with other people must by necessity be deliberate. There is nothing accidental about e-mailing a fellow writer for input or to ask them how the weather is or what they're working on. After a while, the writer must connect with other like-minded humans. That contact is ultimately what keeps us sane. Our spouses, SOs, kids, friends--unless they, too, are writers--will not understand the frustration of a lost story thread or a ping ponging brain. Only another writer will understand that. Hence the e-mail...

Would I want to do something else at this point in my life?

No. Not in a million years.

Anny
www.annycook.com

6 comments:

  1. I'm sooo with you on the contact with other writers. My family adores me, they really DO but understand? Nope. Not on your life. Only another writer can understand the pain of a computer crash and the loss of everything or understand BLOCKAGE or rejection or bad reviews. OMG...the list goes on and on. I've always written and I've always pretty much been lonely. That's not the case anymore. YAY.

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  2. And we're all sooooo glad you're writing too, Anny!

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  3. I'm with you, Anny. I wouldn't trade this in a million years. Thanks for the piece.

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  4. I'm soooo glad you finally decided to submit your stories! I love them so:)

    You're right; it is important to stay connected and get encouragement.

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  5. Great post, Anny. I couldn't agree more, we need to have a support group that understands what we're going through, both the good and the bad.

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  6. I so love this blog! Sorry I could not turn up earlier, since I have not been too well health wise and have not been online. But better late than never...

    I couldn't agree more. A writer's 'job' is creativity and that means loving what you do.In the very act lies the enjoying, the celebrating it as a gift. If fame happens, good. If money comes in excellent; but for a writer, that is not a consideration. That should not be the consideration.The consideration should be that you are enjoying what you are doing.
    It is your love affair.

    Anny, I wrote a book review for James Goodman on my blog. It would be an honor if you come & check it!

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