A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
I have spent half my life writing for money. I truly believe I’ve got the best gig in the universe. However, there are some serious drawbacks. So, for all those people who think that touching pen to paper is a worthy way to spend their time, here are some of the evil side effects of being a writer.
1 — You must take an involuntary vow of poverty. Unless your name is J R Rowling, Stephanie Meyer or that soulless word whore, E.L. James, you’re going to be poor. The reality is 99% of all writers make less money than Bulgarian shepherds. If you’re content with that, great: if not, buy some sheep.
2 — You spend a lot of time (A-LOT-OF-TIME) alone. Political prisoners in China have more human interaction than writers do.
3 — You never actually get a vacation. You just go to work in a different city.
4 — You learn to like all kinda weird crap like cold coffee, warm Pepsi, celery, carrot sticks and the gooey bits in the middle of Oreos.
5 — Every person you meet has a “fantastic” idea for a novel that would “really sell.” All they need is someone to “help” them write it.
6 — Over the years, you become a fountain of useless information. Unfortunately, by the time you’ve amassed this trivia encyclopedia, you’re too damn old to go on Jeopardy.
7 — You pray for rain.
8 — You discover everybody’s a critic. Your family, your friends, acquaintances, the woman who recognized you at the gas station, the guy whose email isn’t even close to coherent, people you’ve just met, people you’ve never met, people you’re never going to meet. In fact, put words on paper and it’s open season on your ego — get used to it.
9 — You become an absolute expert at avoidance behaviour. My personal favourite is still Spider Solitaire.
10 — You spend more time worrying about things like the difference between “only had” and “had only” than you do about buying a car.
And the worst (or best) evil side effect of being a writer:
11 — If you’re not very, very careful, you’ll start having more fun with fictional people than you do with real ones.