I have no water cooler in my office. My office companions are two cats. My work keeps me busy, but the lack of people contact can make one workday seem like any other day. Weekends meld into weekdays. I can’t always differentiate between the two because my office is in the same location where I live with my family. I am just a few feet from our bedroom and a few more steps away from the nearest coffee pot.
This isn’t a complaint; it’s a reality check. When people ask me what I do and I say “I’m a writer,” their eyes light up. I can see inside their heads. They have visions of grandeur. I sit in my large office surrounded by books (true, my bookshelves are crammed) and photos of famous authors (reality: only on the back covers of the books, sometimes). All you can hear is the continuous sound of my fingers tapping on my keyboard as I create and manoeuvre characters into scenes and scenarios to inspire any reader. But that’s not what I do.
It would be great if writing was all about fame and big bucks. But, as Betty Jane Wylie says in her book The Write Track: How to succeed as a freelance writer in Canada, “writing is work” (a small part of a longer quote that I read to students I teach about the reality of freelance writing).
Writing is hard work. And once you hang out your shingle as a Freelance Writer the learning doesn’t stop because writing is all about constant learning. However just because writing is work doesn’t mean that it’s drudgery. I love what I do…well, most of the time; there are always some aspects of any job that are more interesting than others. Still, I have a flexible schedule. I have a variety of interesting clients and have learned a lot about topics I never thought I’d write about when I won an award for a poem in high school.
There is money to be made when you can write succinctly and engage your reader. Not everyone has that talent. As Wylie says, “I haven’t met a writer who hasn’t at one time or another felt the words flow from somewhere other than the brain right onto the paper. That can only be called a blessing.” So, yes, I’m blessed. But I’m human too.
I don’t always like the topics I’m writing about. If I could write about anything I wanted and got paid for it, that would be my first choice. If I felt that novel percolating, I would set aside time each day to bring it to life. But that’s not who I am, and that’s not what I write about.
So what kind of writer am I? You tell me. Check out some of the things I’ve written posted on my website: http://suzanneboles.com/writing-samples. You might be surprised. Who knew writing about topics that seemed mundane could be turned into interesting stories? And, better yet, you can get paid for doing this.
Back to my next assignment…