The reality of being a writer

I was asked recently what I had dreamed of doing when I was a child. My answer was that I had always wanted to be a writer and so I guess you could say I am living the dream but as is so often the case the reality of something is usually quite different to how we imagined it would be.

Living the dream
Am Abend! By Olli Henze courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

My younger self imagined life as a writer would involve:-

  1. Wafting around in a series of glamorous outfits.
  2. Occasionally sitting down to write when the muse took me.
  3. A view of the sea through my open study windows, the curtains softly billowing in the warm summer breeze.
  4. Meeting deadlines with effortless ease.
  5. Feeling relaxed, fulfilled and at peace doing what I love.
  6. Doing what I wanted, when I wanted.
  7. Making lots of money.

What a lovely way to live!

A room with a view by Ellie Holmes Author

My adult self can only look on in wonder at the innocence of the world through a child’s eyes. I particularly blame Dallas for my idea that writers wafted around in glamorous outfits! Donna Krebbs you have a lot to answer for!

And now to the reality:-

  1. Wearing battered jeans most of the time – especially when I don’t leave the house for days on end. I haven’t yet succumbed to writing in my PJs but give it another couple of years…..
  2. Making myself sit at my desk at least for some period of time every day whether the elusive muse is with me or not.
  3. A view of my car parked on the drive and next door’s front door. If I had my windows open a chilly easterly wind would be blowing most of the time.
  4. Stressing about the fact I am committing myself to publishing something by a certain date that I haven’t even started yet.
  5. Feeling tired, overwrought and lacking in confidence 80% of the time.
  6. With one eye on my deadlines, always playing ‘Can I afford the time…’ in my head for everything else.
  7. Watching every penny.
Will write for food
Will write for food by Ritesh Nayak courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s not the fantasy world my childhood self envisaged but would I change it? I don’t think so. Writers want to live in their heads and so long as we can do that to a certain degree, we are fulfilled.

Smile by Jens Bergander courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

The material rewards may not be on offer to the vast majority but what would we do with all that money anyway? We’d probably just buy a better computer and a fancy chair. The beautiful view would be wasted on us and the glamorous outfits would get all creased and covered with crumbs of chocolate.

The reality of life for most writers is very different from what the majority of people imagine it to be. But in answer to the question – am I living the dream? Yes, I am.

I get to write. Every day if I want. What could be better than that?

Today’s blog is the latest in my Flower Seller collection of writing related blogs leading up to publication day of my debut novel The Flower Seller on Thursday 2nd June 2016 #FlowerSellerThursday




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