Hello all! Haven’t been on in awhile, but that’s because I’ve been retooling my writing priorities and attempting to juggle the last forty days of my academic career.
The true dream of any author should be, I know mine is, to write full time. I’m far from that goal, but I absolutely love working “a real job”. In order to survive the Writer’s Apocalypse, a dedicated author must be able to support themselves financially until writing full time is within reach. Now when I say “a real job” I’m sure that all those writers out there have heard that phrase once. If not, then allow me to explain in a dialogue between a writer and an average Joe.
Joe: So what do you do for a living?
Writer: I’m a writer.
Joe: Okay, but what is your “real job”?
Writer: I work the night shift at Wal-Mart.
But don’t feel ashamed about working a part time or full time job that doesn’t involve writing! The world is full of rich, quirky, and interesting people that provide hilarious scenes, dramatic exits, and thrilling chases in which you (the writer) can draw upon and create characters in your stories that are based off these real life individuals. Doing so will flesh out your protagonist or even a side character. Nothing is more boring in a story than flat 2d characters.
When famous authors say “write what you know” they really mean it. At one of my few places of employment, I worked with a person that had earned the nickname TooTee. TooTee was an interesting person to work because he/she could go from nice to angry, happy to depressed, and any other emotion at a moment’s notice. The stories and adventures that I have witnessed involving TooTee are carefully tucked into a spare folder inside my brain. When the right character comes along that fits that description, I’ll dust off that folder and bring TooTee to life in that desired character.
The moral of this story is: Don’t feel like you’ve hit rock bottom because you had to resort to working at a gas station, or another menial job, because you failed. Soak up those experiences and character flaws that others exude and make your next story one with juicy moments of tension or maybe the awkwardness of a TooTee.
As always, keep calm and write on my friends!
Categories: Mastering the Craft