Why I’ll Never Write for a Living

Oh my gosh.  What a busy week!  On top of everything else I had going on, I realized I finally had to turn in the rewrite of my short blog story early because I’ll be in Orlando for a conference the week it was supposed to be presented to the class. So I picked up this monster of a document, reread all the comments, and condensed it into 13 pages.  Talk about tedious.  It took me five drafts, two nights and twelve solid hours to get down about 4500 words that I’m content with.  That’s three hundred and seventy-five words an hour.  I think I’ll keep my day job.

Blogging is so much easier for me than writing fiction.  When I’m writing a story, I get obsessive.  I write, read, edit, over and over again.  I don’t eat.  I’ve actually lost all my vacation weight plus two pounds.  I don’t clean.  I resent Dog when he’s barking to go for a walk because it feels as though I only walked him the hour before.  Really, though, it’s been four hours, and I get it.  I do.  I’m just in a zone.

I finally made myself stop writing at midnight on Thursday to eat a piece of cheese toast because I’ve gotten drunk on the two beers I’ve had.  When I fell asleep, the bed is spinning and I woke up with more changes in mind and a slight headache.  I wanted to write, but I went to work.  I got through the day without reading the copy I’d printed out and tucked into my purse more than twice.

We all took off early on Friday for Good Friday and the holiday weekend.  I came home and wrote.  Boy wandered in and out, asking for money, directions, food.  He’s used to this, though.  My phone rang.  I ignored it. I wrote some more.

I took mercy on Dog, and while we walked, I sent a text a friend driving down from North Carolina for a visit..  I sent a text to Josh out in Oregon, just home from a business trip to Idaho.  “R U still roaming?”  I got back to my house and read People Magazine.

I got a text back from my friend, who’s stuck in traffic in North Florida.  I got a text back from Josh.  He’s going to Mass with his daughter.  I told him I’d just do my Rosary before I went bed.  “You are such a good girl.”  Yes, well a good girl would feed her dog and child without resenting the interruption.  A good girl would make it to Mass.

I called my friend in New Jersey.  We ended up talking for an hour.  I miss her.

I started writing again. I finished at midnight again, but I wasn’t drunk.  I managed to get out the Our Father and three Hail Mary’s before I drifted off to sleep.

I have an aunt who writes, too.  She’s my editor.  The poor woman will get halfway through one draft when I’m already emailing her draft two. Then three.  Then four.  It must drive her nuts.  But she just sighs and rereads the words she’s read before.  She makes new edits.  She emails the edits to me.  She writes that she loves me, and finally, she writes to tell me when I need to stop. And I do.


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