Top Ten Reason I Love My Job
Let's face it, some days writing is a lousy job. There's near-constant anxiety over getting published, staying published, shifts in the marketplace, no benefits or sick days, late advance checks or non-existent royalties -- you name it. So why do so many people give up more lucrative (and far more stable) careers to take a shot at this one?
- I'm my own best boss. Agents can advise, editors can reject, but the buck stops with me when it comes down to creative decisions. Though I work hard, I set my own pace and place -- and nobody docks me for taking an hour to play with my dog in the sunshine.
- When the words flow, bliss rolls out through my fingertips, and I enter a zone that's as addictive as the most powerful drug.
- Readers. The ones who buy the books, read the books, and get the books. Those who recommend them to their friends. And especially those wonderful folks who write to let me know they ready got what I was trying to say. Thank you.
- Workplace. I can work in my messy office, on the deck, or in a Starbucks. Wherever it takes to help me concentrate.
- The writing community. Writers, editors, agents, booksellers, reviewers are amazing people. For one thing, none of them think I'm weird for loving books.
- Feeding my head. I love learning new stuff. In college, I could never settle on one thing but always wanted to do the sampler plate (which explains the liberal arts and general education degrees). Because of writing, I've had the opportunity to explore obscure historical events (The Great Peshtigo Fire, the Sultana explosion), fascinating characters (I based one book on a real-life Southern belle/spy who served the Confederacy by becoming engaged to several Union officers in occupied Memphis), amazing places, and extraordinary careers.
- Nosy questions. One of the greatest privileges I've had as a writer is a free pass to ask people, from paramedics and nurses to sheriffs to steamboat captains to historians and glider pilots, questions about all sorts of fascinating subjects. Folks are amazingly generous and helpful.
- Travel. Through writing, I've seen places I never would have otherwise, from the settings of my books to scenes of writers' conferences.
- Adventure. Though I'm no daredevil, in the name of research, I've done some pretty cool things. On the menu today, soaring.
- And the number one reason: Because in the world of writing, imagination matters. Books and story are important. And dreams become reality, through the written word.