Okay so I’ve decided to come out of the closet. No, no. no, not that closet, the other one where book-obsessed readers lurk, cloaking their habit in solitude. For me, reading is comfort, inspiration, therapy and adventure. That it allows me to avoid tedious chores and boring programs on TV is a delightful bonus.
Now that I am actively pursuing my writing dreams, the numerous hours I spend indulging my reading appetite transforms my guilty pleasure into an honorable endeavor. Professional research is essential to my success. An understanding of the current publishing market, a familiarity with the authors who are finding an audience, a well-honed skill set of grammar and the techniques of plot, character and pacing all demand prodigious amounts of comparative reading. Amazon.com is probably going to name me as one of their 10 best—customers, that is.
My husband’s ill-timed requests for dinner can be sloughed off, good-naturedly and with the bonus of a clear conscience because—here’s the thrill of it—I’m “working.” Yep, buzz off, Bucko, I’m chest deep in a good read and can’t be disturbed by such mundane interruptions as cooking or laundry. This is genius at work and creativity operates on its own time clock.
I’d have more credibility, if I had some monetary proof to wave—an indication that somebody values my tales enough to put out some cash. A paycheck would provide tangible evidence that my writing is viable. So far, my efforts have been personally rewarding but financially they’re dead in the water. My loyal hubby’s perspective sums it up tersely: “Face it. You’ve got an allergy to a paycheck, Darlin’.
I admit to being hooked by that feel-good glow that comes from doing things from passion or service. There’s no boss ordering me to complete a task that’s meaningful solely because I’m on the payroll and that’s the assignment. This privileged stance is a benefit provided by said spouse who for forty years has been the provider willing to tether himself to a job and the demands that it required.
I sweetly remind him that he’s not the only retiree in the house. I’ve surrendered my membership in the super mom-wife club and have committed to a new identity, that of author in residence. Fortunately, I’ve got one uber-fan, and it’s the one that means the most: my husband, who consistently titles himself with a dollop of humor my “sainted spouse.”
St. George and I continue to believe that success as a writer will come. Of course, our vision of how that will look is pretty divergent. I’d be satisfied with a book in hand; he’d be ecstatic if it included some financial boon as well. I should look on Amazon to see if they have a good book on that topic …