Today’s post is a little harsh; although you could have guessed that just by reading the title. (It’s also the first post I’m writing on WordPress and not Blogspot, so hurray for me I guess.) As most of you know I am a full-time writer.
Let me re-phrase that.
You know this thing called a job that mankind invented because we are a greedy species – I have that. I make a living from writing stories. Or at least that’s where I’m headed – I’ll have some financial numbers by next year and hopefully the constant questioning in my head will take on another subject matter.
But I guess being a writer, or indeed any form of artist, is more of a lifestyle choice than simply a job. We love what we do, otherwise we won’t do it. And, of course, not everyone approves of the lifestyle or even the idea of art and they have every right to that belief and prerogative. I am a firm believer that everyone should maintain their opinion so long as it does not harm anyone and is justified.
What I will not tolerate is the constant questioning. I am sick and tired of people I know and even those I don’t, questioning why I do this gig full-time or why am I wasting my life.
Here’s why – It’s my life (Add the rest of the Bon Jovi lyrics here).
And, yes I get it – it is a ‘glamorous’ and ‘unusual’ lifestyle to live inside the stories you create, at least to you as an outsider. I am down with the questions and the explanations. What I do not get is why do you seek to undermine my choices by making my justify them to you. It is clear I’m not gonna convince you since you’re close minded and tight assed.
And I am sick and freakin’ tired of hearing the word Hobby.
Let’s get something straight. A hobby is something you do in your spare time. It’s relaxing, engaging and healthy for you. It’s a break from your daily routine. And I’m pretty damn sure you don’t spend more than a couple of hours on a hobby, even if you’re lucky enough to do it daily.
Here are my facts: I spend between 6-8 hours (full time hours) in writing every day. That is the bare minimum. When I was re-writing and editing Firstborn, I put in 13 hour days.
Yes, that’s right. Half a day of just sitting down, bullying your brain into working, constantly trudging through doubts and at the same time making sure that your book is likable enough to sell but also likable enough by me so that I could live with it for the rest of my life.
And in order to do that I sacrifice everything – friends, relationships, better monetary offers, going on trips and seeing friends which live a continent away (literally) and sometimes even my health.
Why am I saying this? I don’t want to be the martyr. I made the choice and I have absolutely no right to bitch about it.
I just want you to understand – what I just described is not the definition of a Hobby.
So when you smile condescendingly at me, pitying me for being naive enough to believe in my talent and abilities, and telling me that, no you know best and I am wasting my time: then you are offending me. When you compare what I do to something as insignificant as a hobby, you automatically lump all my hard work with whatever gets you off.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna cry about it or act all messed up. A true artist has iron skin. What I’m saying is don’t get offended if I shut you out or reply in the same condescension with which you presented to me.
I’ll leave you with a story that perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about. I’m out with a couple of friends. Some random guy knew one of our friends. He came over and we chat. He is older and clearly a know-it-all. When he hears what I do this is what he says
“You’re 22. You still have time to realize what a waste of time that is and get a real job.”
I remain calm, because he is not worth my anger, and reply with this.
“Yes I am 22. But I see it in a different way. In just 3 years, in my young age, I have written 2 books, written 4 short stories, self-published a book, started 2 series and gotten myself a contract.
I ask you Sir, what did you do at age 22? Oh right, I know. You played beer pong with your douchebag friends and jerked off to pictures of Sasha Grey. You led such a fulfilling life that here you are, talking down on me. You’ve done nothing all night but indicate flaws and issues with our choices. If the only way you can get off is by shitting all over my dreams, I invite you to go fuck straight off. Because between the two of us, come next Monday, I’ll be the one looking forward to living my life. So please, get off my dick.”
I may have altered some words, mostly because there was a lot of roundabouts and a lot more swear words. But I guess the point was driven home.
No we did not fight. I simply glared at him and left. As did my friends.
So I guess the lesson here is: If you have genuine interest in what I do and wish to ask anything, please do so. I’m not as much of an asshole as this post makes me seem.
If, however, you just wanna question my every move and just wish to drag me down into that horrible miasma that is your sad, sad life, simply because you’re too much of a pussy to do anything about it – well, get off my dick.