Friday, February 3, 2012

It's difficult to make a living as a writer...

Wow.  Big week for blogging.. haha  Second post all week!

I've been BUSY okay!  

Anyway, I have a professor this semester who is a genius.  He is a young adult novelist and he is just brilliant.  I am not going to currently share his name or his novel, for fear he has a tendency to google himself and would happen to stumble across this thing.  But anyway, at lecture he shared this quote:  (And forgive me, but I didn't write down who said it!)

It's difficult to make a living as a writer.
It's a lot easier to make writing your life.

He then followed the statement with a bit of a speech... He warned us that if we are going to really take the craft of prose writing seriously, especially if we ever want a novel published- we have to find a job that allows us the time needed to nurture our creative energy.  He warned us that sitting in a cubicle all day, wearing business casual all the while working in a job that we are not passionate about, is not going to nurture the creative lifestyle necessary to compose a work of art that will pull at people.  That will really grab their attention.  He warned that living life this way, would create a stagnant approach to our writing.  Will turn it into a hobby, rather than our life.

I was shocked to hear it... But, at the same time I wasn't.  I know that writers struggle, really struggle with emotion sometimes.  Whether it be because a story or poem that they are working on is a dark one, that literally requires them to pull the demons from their torso and wear them on their sleeve.  Or, because it is excruciating sometimes to deal with day to day things that "need" to get done- but you are so encompassed by what you need to write, that you can't focus on anything else.

I think I only know one person who may be able to relate to what I'm saying.   Sarah!  I'm talking about you!

I never really saw myself as a working professional... I have piercings, tattoos, the mouth of a sailor and highly independent thought.  (Also, I pretty much HAVE to be the boss because I am really not good at taking orders)- so this was a pretty exciting thought for me to process!  See!  If I want to be the writer I envision in my head, I need to devote myself to it.  I need to be creative in the ways in which I make money, so that writing can stay a priority and that I'm always able to use my creative energies in positive ways.

Not to mention, I'm about to have 2 children here.  I need to get creative in my job pursuits.  And, make sure I am taking the time TO WRITE.

Ahhhh!  Life, you crazy S.O.B.
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On a completely unrelated note, the second theatrical trailer was released for The Hunger Games.  I liked the first one better.  And, now this one has honestly scared the hell out of me- because right away it shows a scene that is NOT in the book and fucks up a huge plot line.  I'm not going to jump to conclusions yet... but, damn it to hell- DO NOT SCREW UP THESE BOOKS!  I hate watching your favorite novels get molested by a screenplay :(

9 comments:

  1. Well, I totally agree. But at the same time, I don't have a 9-5 job in a business casual cubicle because its funsies, I do it to pay the bills because I live on my own. So, I'm not quite sure how practical his advice is. If you're a regular adult with bills and responsibilities, how do you just drop everything and make writing your life?

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  2. I don't know how you feel, but a little piece of me dies inside whenever I'm reminded that Lenny Kravitz is in this. YUCK.

    As for your professors statement, he's partially right, but most of us live by the constraints of regular responsibilities like bills and housekeeping (plus kids if applicable). If I lived a life with a sugar daddy and a maid, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to churn out a book too. It's easy to write when you have no distractions and low stress.

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  3. I think Lenny Kravitz could fit Cinna... It's the fact that they are leaving out an entire character and rewriting how she got the Mockingjay Pin that REALLY bothers me haha The things I get emotionally invested in!

    I don't think I gave my professor justice when I was speaking of his advice- He is in his mid 40's, married with 2 children.. He was basically telilng us, Do not go sit in a Marketing Firm (for example) if you want to be a writer. Find a career that lets you write. Taking him for example, he studied creative writing and then eventually got a Doctorate to teach at a College Level... So, now he reads and writes and works with writers day in and day out living his passion... Or, like my friend Sarah.. she is a stay at home mother, yes. But, she is in grad school, gets what she can published on the side, started her own business that lets her indulge in photoraphy, and is now a writer for an indie mag. It's all in what you choose to do.

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  4. "I have piercings, tattoos, the mouth of a sailor and highly independent thought. (Also, I pretty much HAVE to be the boss because I am really not good at taking orders)"-It is like we were separated at birth! I'm just like that and I'm unable to work, so I have plenty of time to write, but it's difficult. I wrote on my blog yesterday how I was struggling with what I wanted to write and couldn't get past the obstacles. Part of it is because of my CRPS... it affects the concentration and can make me unable to speak the words I'm trying to think of and they come out wrong at times. Sometimes I have a stutter trying to get the words out. The other part is plain ol' writer's block. It sucks!

    I haven't read The Hunger Games books yet, but I'm gonna give them a look soon!

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  5. "He warned us that sitting in a cubicle all day, wearing business casual all the while working in a job that we are not passionate about, is not going to nurture the creative lifestyle necessary to compose a work of art that will pull at people."

    This is exactly why I built myself that creative area. It blocks out the world, the shit, and everything else.

    The Tom Baker Doctor Who Scarf helps, too.

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    Replies
    1. Josh... you are an amazing writer. I know I will own something written by you one of these days.

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  6. Yes, Azia! Basically being a writer, making writing YOUR LIFE, means accepting the fact that you're probably going to be poor a lot. If you want to make writing your job you also have to accept the fact that you will probably have to have at least two jobs, so you might as well find jobs that go together, like teaching and writing. Photography and writing (though, if you're going to be a photographer AND a writer, you might want to find a third job...ha).

    I don't think it's so much the cubicle part that's important but the passionate part--having a job that you hate will make it that much harder to write well, though not impossible...

    My genius "professor" (Azia you know who I'm talking about) told me that when we live quiet leaves it's easy for our writing to become quiet...

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    Replies
    1. I decided I want to write something that will rip a person in half. AKA a memior. Fuck.

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    2. you mean "fuck yes"?!

      by wanting that you're already halfway there.

      i want you to rip me in half! do it do it do it do it

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