|Thirteen Things about being a writer
In celebration of earning my ISBN, I’ve decided my Thursday Thirteen should be “13 reasons why I love being a writer.”
1. I get to tell stories. I honestly cannot remember a time when I wasn’t telling myself a story. I’d make up stories about my dolls being princess-spies, I’d make up adventures to get me to sleep…and I still do. Well….not the doll part. Unless the Sims count as dolls?
2. I get to make people happy. I can still remember how happy people were when they read the goofy stories I wrote when I was supposed to be taking notes in junior high. I’m from the life is very hard school of thought, and I love the idea that people can read my stories…anyone, not just my poor, beleaguered friends, and get something out of it.
3. I get to spend time with people I would like to know. I genuinely care about my characters, which sounds silly, but if I don’t craft people that I can care about, how can I possible expect you to want to spend time with them? One of the reasons why I enjoyed writing Blue Moon was that Zorovin and Alex were, in their own ways, men I could have serious crushes on. Sierra and Libby were both people going through things that I was going through, though of course, not in an obvious way. The book I last finished, The Chocolatier’s Wife, was partly inspired by what I thought would be the ultimate character for one of the British Actors I was crushing on.
4. LOC catalogued! I have worked as a librarian for several years, as a student and as an Interlibrary Loan lady. Knowing that I am an author in the Library of Congress system is a silly, but huge joy to me. There is just something about it that makes me feel like I really did accomplish something.
5. I get to explore worlds and do things I would never get to do. It’s true…I get these nifty ideas in my head of things that would be awesome to do, but not possible to actually get out there and accomplish. It’s fun to see how things would logically work. I loved trying to figure out interesting creatures, I enjoy trying to make it all logical and believable while keeping the wonder and fantastical nature of the story intact. For Blue Moon I had to split the world of magic from the world of technology, but as they come back together the magic things that slept during this time wake up again. I didn’t want to go with the common, twee things, so I made up things like vampiric butterflies to add color to the world. And in the book I’m working on now, I’m trying to logic out the mechanics of a completely underwater civilization. It’s the little things that make you stumble, like eating, drinking…but that’s the fun, too.
6. It’s really the only thing I feel I’m any good at. I mean, I can sew, and I’m a good secretary, but the fact is…it’s not really something I feel I can offer the world and make the world better for it. Ok, ok, fantasies and mysteries don’t really make the world that much better, but stories and books have incredible power, and as part of that, I think I can make a difference on individual levels.
7. Knowing that the story is working. There is no better feeling when you’re sitting there, writing, writing, every word comes out easy and clicks right into place. Everything is making sense and doing what it’s supposed to be. That is so much better than any drug.
8. Having an excuse to buy books. When I was writing Chocolatier’s Wife, I saw a chocolate grinding table that fit, technologically, in perfect with what William’s kitchen would be like. I also wanted to understand perfectly the preparation of chocolate, even though you see little of that research in the book. It gave me a reason to go an buy these beautiful books and read them…and, currently, since I’ve been re-writing fairy tales, this has given me an excuse to buy some Andrew Lang and world folk lore books…things I’ve always wanted, to read for research. My credit card hates it, but it gives me something to look forward to. Any excuse to buy a book is a good one, I think.
9. Because it makes me feel like my degree wasn’t a waste of time. I originally intended to become a librarian…I always meant to be a writer, but I have also always known that you couldn’t depend on it for an income. So, being a librarian would be perfect as a “real” job while I worked on becoming a (in)famous author. With that in mind, the best Bachelor’s to take was in English…I ended up taking so many creative writing courses that I had to change my concentration to Creative writing, and that’s the degree I graduated with: English: Creative Writing.
10. It gives me something to talk about. Good grief…if I didn’t have writing, my blog posts would be even worse, nothing but costuming and British Actors and typing memos. I wonder, though…I started blogging because I’m a writer – would I have bothered blogging without it?
11. Looking at the finished work. When I first opened the .pdf for my short story, “Every Word I Speak”, and saw my name on that beautiful cover, I was just so overwhelmed. It was so beautiful…and then I got to see “A Necklace of Rubies” right away. It was all of awe.
12. Meeting some really wonderful people. When I was a book reviewer, I became friends with some really wonderful people. My fellow authors at Zumaya and Drollerie are fantastic people. Some of the readers of my reviews have emailed me, and I had wonderful times talking to them. And…my editors deserve special thanks. I feel like I’ve made real friends, and I am so very grateful. I’m going to meet even more people as I go…how cool is that?
13. I was going to say “Because it makes the voices in my head go away” but I think I’ll say, instead, that there’s nothing like knowing who you are. People go through their lives wondering “Who am I? What’s my purpose in life? There has to be something more!” And if you really know me, you know that I am still striving to fulfill more than one purpose, that I am trying to make sure I live a full and decent life. But being a writer…and Author!…it gives me a sense of identity. I know who I am. I have a goal in life. That’s pretty wonderful, I think.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!