Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Write for the money? Ha!

This week, Hope Clark asked, Let's test your instinct to write. If you could not earn a living at it, if people would not see your work until after you died, if you could not publish, would you still do it?

My gut instinct is to say, "Of course I would." Then I realized this is exactly what most writers do. Okay, maybe some of us have delusions of making money and hang on to that with all our might. Even so, we brainstorm while driving down the road, hide manuscript notes beneath our desk calendars at work and let the laundry pile up because of the inner need to write. We text message ideas to ourselves, write poetry while waiting for the kids to be released from school and lull our spouses to sleep talking about plots and characters.

I doubt there are many who sneak these tiny moments here and there are doing it with dollar signs in their eyes. I see little flames burning in those iris'--flames of passion for this thing we call writing. We write away our fears and melancholia; expose our innermost selves in a way no reality show could hope to touch. Heck, if it were all about the money, we'd be better off dancing naked on tabletops downtown. Either they'll pay us to keep dancing or pay us to get down.

Writing is a passion akin to that of sports fans or addicts, depending upon how you want to look at it. We spend our last dollar on the paraphernalia--the pens, paper, printer ink, isp service. We give our two most precious resources to it: our time and ourselves--at times forsaking friends or the latest cool gadgets. Your not a real writer until you skip a dinner date/movie or call in sick to work on a story.

Anyone who understands the words, "I can't NOT write." knows full well it's not about the money. Here's Hope's blog where you can check out what she has to say: http://www.hopeclark.blogspot.com

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